It’s February. For the majority of people, the excitement of the new year has faded into the everyday routine. Four weeks ago, millions of people set new year’s resolutions vowing to make 2018 the best year yet. New beginnings are an exhilarating time, an opportunity to write a new chapter.
For 2018, 53% of people resolved to save more money. 45% set a goal to lose weight or get in shape and 23% resolved to read more books. Were you among the 40% of Americans who set goals in December 2017? If you were, good for you. However, the real question today is ‘are you going to be among the 80% of people who drop their resolutions by February’? I get it. We get inspired by the overwhelming number of resolutions people around us commit to. It is absolutely normal to want a better future and decide to make changes to achieve goals. However, once we’re deep into projects at work, when the Christmas lights and cheer are gone and the social customs dictate that it is now time to stop wishing people a ‘Happy New Year’, many of us revert back to our old habits. Over 100 million of Americans will decide this month that whatever they aspire to accomplish in 2018 is no longer worth it. What does that ‘it’ mean to you?
January is gone and you didn’t stay on track. Maybe you didn’t even have a goal and it is now February and you think it’s too late. It isn’t too late and you can still reach your goals. Chris Bradford said ‘There is no failure except in no longer trying’ and that statement couldn’t be truer. Take this advice from the great Zig Ziglar ‘It is not how far you fall but how high you bounce that counts’. So, let’s bounce high and break all barriers moving forward.
Write (Rewrite) your resolutions and read it daily
For most, the number one reason why resolutions are abandoned is because distractions come along. Focus is disturbed. Having a daily reminder tremendously helps. Walk into my kitchen and you will see a representation of some of my goals stuck on my fridge. Enter my bedroom and on the wall, you will find a cork board with a list of my 2018 goals. This include financial goals, family goals, my reading list, etc. In fact, here is one of the posts you will find . I am now on my 3rd book for the year. I see my goals every morning and every time I walk by that wall, I am reminded of my commitment.
You look at your phone hundreds of time per day, write your goals on your wallpaper!
Make it simple and tangible
Did you know that our brain can only focus on one to three things at once? In fact, according to Earl Miller, a neuroscience professor at MIT, our brain rather shifts focus from one thing to the other rapidly. Although with technology today, we get a feeling of multitasking abilities, truly, we are simply adding several tasks to our brain’s list which it bounces back and forth on. It is recommended to tackle tasks one at a time.
I believe in applying the same philosophy when working towards your goals. Don’t we all want to be super achievers and get so much done at once? Yes. But that’s very hard and it only leads to disappointment. You may want to lose weight, build muscle, run a marathon, obtain your personal training license, open your own gym and build a youth fitness program. The reality is that it may not all happen in one year. For 2018, pick one to three definitive resolutions you’d like to accomplish and invest yourself into them. Trust me, you’ll see a difference. Also, make it tangible. Losing weight and becoming more fit is a great goal but it doesn’t mean the same thing for you and I. Put a number to your goals (‘In 2018, I will lose 20 lbs.’, ‘This year I will run five 5k races’, ‘In 2018, I will save $20,000’, ‘This year, I will read 5 books’, ‘I will donate 40 hours of community service’). Having specific goals that you can measure allows you to track your progress.
Share it with people who count on you and believe in you
There is a mindset out there that believes in keeping your goals to yourself. People who teach this mindset believe that telling other people about your intentions may backfire, especially if you don’t achieve them. I do not endorse boastfully propagandizing your lavish dreams at the cost of someone else’s ego. Such an act cannot be compared with sharing with someone who encourages you your resolution and goals. I emphasize ‘encourage’ because it is a mistake to share your vision with anyone who would kill your dreams.
Of course, chances are you may not reach all your goals. That’s ok. Isn’t life itself an adventure? What would we get out of our existence if we succeeded at everything and never had a challenge or a setback? The beauty in telling others who support you about your goals is that it creates a sense of accountability in you. It is even better when they are people that you respect. Whether it is a former teacher, a coach, your spouse or a best friend, let them help you in your quest to achieve your resolutions in 2018. Communicate regularly with them about your progress. If they are pursuing a goal as well, ask them about it and encourage them. You will soon find that you are more enthusiastic, energized, confident and eager to work to accomplish your resolutions.
It is certainly not too late to set a new year’s resolution for 2018. It is too early to give up – in fact, you should never give up. Keep working, keep trying, keep falling but whatever happens keep bouncing back up!
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