I know, I know, everybody who’s anybody is doing a post, video or podcast about New Year’s resolutions and goals right now. I promise….well, I hope, I have a different insight. I am not trying to regurgitate the ten tips you always hear when it comes to keeping your resolution or goals.
If you’re stuck, struggling, already given up or doing great with your 2018 goals and resolutions, this post is for you. Here are my best pieces of advice when it comes to keeping your resolutions and achieving your goals this year.
Act Like a Human
Unless you’re somehow the smarted dog in the world or the talking gecko from Geico, you’re a human and you need to act like one. This is probably one of the biggest reasons people fail when they set New Year’s resolutions and goals. Simply put, they think they are some type of superhero and not a human.
You will have bad days. You will struggle at times. You will fail completely.
NONE OF THIS MATTERS!!!!
Even if you have five bad days in a row, you can still choose to make that sixth day a good day. Let’s use losing weight as an example, since it seems to be the biggest goal or resolution for any New Year.
You started the year by choosing a diet and an exercise plan before January 1st rolled around. You had it all planned out, started great and the first 10 days went off without a hitch.
Day #11 brought the problems, however. You woke up late, so you grabbed one of those leftover pop-tarts you had planned to throw away, but forgot for breakfast. Then, when lunch rolled around, you chose to go out because you didn’t have time to pack anything, and well, the diet was already screwed by the pop-tart for breakfast.
Dinner rolls around and you don’t feel like cooking so you order a pizza and this is where you decide the diet plan you so carefully chose isn’t for you. Eleven days in and you’re already toast!
The problem wasn’t the diet plan, in this scenario. The problem was you weren’t allowing yourself to act like a human. Give yourself a break and chalk it up as one bad day.
Even though it was only 11 days, you went 10/11 to start the New Year. If you did that all year long, you’d have about 331 good days out of 365. Do you think you could lose some weight if you followed your diet plan for 331/365 days?
A few things to understand with this advice:
- YOU ARE HUMAN – No Two ways about it!
- You will screw up – Be ready for it and expect it!
- One day isn’t a week, a month or a year…It’s one day
- We all have bad days, whether they are our fault or someone else’s
- New goals are not habits and you cannot expect to do them perfectly or easily until they do become habits
- Habits don’t form overnight or even within 21 days, most of the time.
Act like a human and give yourself a break when you falter. It’s going to happen, so be prepared and don’t let your one failed day throw you off track for a goal you set for the entire year of 2018.
Define Your Reasons
Notice, I didn’t write REASON, but REASONS. Any goal worth chasing will be backed by at least two well-defined reasons. Let’s look at the weight loss goal again.
If we take the time to realize losing weight cannot truly be a goal, but should be a reason for changing the way we eat, exercise and live, it becomes a bit clearer. Think about it this way, have you ever gone on a diet or known someone that did only to find that the weight lost was nearly all gained back a month after the diet ended?
This is so common and not just with dieting goals, but they make for a great example. I went vegan and one of my reasons was weight loss, but it wasn’t the goal. When you make weight loss the goal, you’re stepping into dangerous territory.
The goal, if you want to lose weight, should be to change the way you eat and live. Obviously what you’re doing now isn’t working and probably caused you to gain the weight. Make weight loss one of your reasons, but it cannot be the only reason.
If you chose to adopt a vegan lifestyle, for example, and your only reason was to lose weight, you will likely quit within a month. However, if you make it one of your reasons and you define at least one other reasons, such as better overall health, live a longer life, ward off diseases or you can no longer turn a blind eye to the cruelty of animals, then you’re more likely to stick to your goal or resolution long enough to achieve it.
Goals Don’t Get 52 Weeks to be Achieved
I think, when we are new to goal setting or resolution setting, we all make a similar mistake. I know I have made this mistake many times before I realized what I was doing wrong.
Do you plan your goals assuming you have a full 52 weeks to achieve them?
If so, you’re already behind on January 1st. Most people don’t work a full 52 weeks in a year, even if they don’t take a vacation. You might get sick (like I did) and miss a week or two. You might have a family thing come up causing you to miss a week of work.
There are many things that can happen over the course of a year to throw your time table off track. Plan your goals for 50 weeks or even 48 weeks instead of 52. Then, when something does happen or you go on vacation, you won’t be off track.
I think that’s enough on the topic of keeping New Year’s Resolutions or goals for this year. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments as you see necessary throughout the year. Most goals are always evolving, whether they are growing or shrinking.
Remember, you’re human and you’re going to fail. It’s not about the failure, but the action you take after the failure that matters.
If you have a tip to help others keep their New Year’s resolutions and goals, please share it in the comments below.