On December 31, 2018, Forbes.com published an article on the topic of New Year’s Resolutions. At the same time, people all over the world were setting goals, expectations and resolutions for 2019. It is now February 11 and we are 42 days into the new year. According to that article, less than 25% of people who set resolutions are still pursuing those goals. They have given up. By the end of the year, a mere 8% will have accomplished the goals they’ve set. Needless to say, for most people, making new year’s resolutions has absolutely no effect, at least not for a considerable amount of time.
I set goals and resolutions myself. And to be candid, I have already failed at some of them when it comes to discipline. That does not mean, however, that I have given up. Did you make any major decision for 2019? You may have already missed the consistency. Even if you did not make any resolution or did not set any worthwhile goal, it is absolutely not too late. Let’s make your best 2019 start now. Let’s take control of what we can, take responsibility for it and crush it. I am convinced that you’ve heard the saying: ‘it is not how you start that matter, but how you finish the race’.
This sounds great and inspiring, Lionel, but how do I start? How do I take the first step? I believe the first step starts in desire. You can set all the goals you want, write on all the dream boards you can find, read all the articles on the net, but do you sincerely want to change or achieve a milestone? That is the million-dollar question. Unless it is what you want, you’re wasting time and you’ll eventually give up. Think of the guy or the girl who jumps abruptly into a relationship. It doesn’t usually end well. The desire to achieve a goal, whether financially, physically, emotionally or spiritually comes out of a need. Examine your own life and decide what area could benefit from your working towards a goal. For example, will getting a new job in 2019 help financially? Will making the habit of reading a self-improvement book make you better in the workplace and in life? If none of this stirs any feeling in you, you may not need to continue reading. If the opposite is happening, certainly read on.
It is common knowledge that at the beginning of the year, millions of people decide to get healthier. Exercise facilities are filled with excited members looking to shed the pounds, build more muscle and get more athletic. By now, many have already given up. Like those people, unless you set a specific goal, your chances of succeeding are very low. Wanting to lose weight in 2019 is very different than working to lose 20 pounds in 2019. The latter is specific and can be measured. In fact, progress can be evaluated as time passes. That is how your goal should be. Specific, realistic and attainable. If you haven’t worked out in 3 years, a marathon may not be a logical goal for this year.
Next, keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. If you’ve ever bought a new car, you know the intriguing feeling. Once you start driving that car, it feels like everyone else has gone and bought the same vehicle, you see it everywhere. In reality, it was all around you. You just happened to notice it now because it’s a reality in your life. Goals work the same way. The more present they are, the more likely you are to think about them and achieve them. So, it is imperative that you write them down and read them regularly. My goals are posted on a corkboard in my bedroom, they’re saved in my phone and more importantly, I read them every day. It’s been proven scientifically that the habit of writing down your goals is a major impact in their accomplishment.
At this point, you’ve realized that a change needs to happen, you’ve set your goal and wrote it down. What’s next? The work part comes next. Orchestrated work. Take the example of exercising. If your goal is to run a 10k race this year while you’re just getting into running, you have the entire year to get there. How about starting with a half mile and establishing an unwavering confidence. As you are hitting milestones, your confidence gets strengthened. If you start at 100 mph because you want to reach your goal by March, missing it will only harm your self-image. In fact, you might give up. So, as one says, ‘how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time’, tackle your mountain one step at a time. Start small and build up. In December, I set my reading list for the year. My goal is to read all 14 books on my list. Although I enjoy reading and it is part of my daily routine, the tasks still seemed a somewhat daunting. To beat the fear, I started with the smallest book and guess what; by the end of January, I was already working on my second and third book. My confidence is boosted, and I believe I will finish the task by December.
I hope these tips are lighting up a fire in you and encouraging you. You will need courage because it will not always be perfect. Failure will come and will rock your boat. Regardless, stay consistent as it is part of the process. In fact, would any goal be worthwhile if it didn’t involve some hurdles? I hope you’re ready for it. The good news is that as you are moving forward, you will check items off your list. My recommendation is to then add more goals throughout the year. The aim is to challenge yourself, to break barriers, to discover what you’re made off.
So, you are now equipped to win in 2019, to make it happen…You can do anything you set your mind to. Start today!