2015 was the year that the we were going to change the world with our New Year's resolution list: make two of every meal and freeze one for later, go to the store only once a week, stop eating fast food, gain a testimony of something, have a neighbor over for dinner once a month, and cut a laundry hamper into the bathroom floor... The list goes on.
So how did we do on our goals? Let's look at a few national statistics:
Percentage of those who made resolutions for the last year: 45%
Percentage of those people who considered themselves successful: 8%
Those who had marginal or infrequent success: 49%
Those who didn't succeed, and fail on their resolutions each year: 24%
Now it's a year later and new lists are getting drawn up. (Actually the old list is just getting a make-over by adding the new date and printing it out with a new font.) And it starts all over again — unless we do things differently this time around.
With that in mind — doing things a little differently this time around — here is a statistic that works for us:
Those who actively make New Year's resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than people who don't make resolutions.
Is it that goal setters have better focus? Do goals give us direction? With goals, do we take control of the direction we are going in? Yes, yes, and you-betcha'.
Goals create a benchmark that says "Here we are, and here is where we want to be."
There are steps to being successful in your resolution for the new year. Sticking the words on the mirror in the bathroom is a positive step, but the words you print should be a reminder for you to do something. Step out of the resolution rut and stop the resolution madness by following these easy rules:
1. Pick one goal that motivates you
That's it. That's the rule. Be specific.
Then write down why it is important. If this is tougher than you realized, imagine that you have to convince a judge why this particular goal is worth your time.
Let's look at losing weight as a goal. (Losing weight, by the way, was the most common New Year's resolution in America for 2015.)
We write our goal down on our refrigerator. Lose weight. Maybe we post a photo of some hot person in a bathing suit for extra measure. It looks good on the fridge next to the phone bill. Now we set another goal, right? Nope. We're not finished with the one we picked.
3. Give your plan a bullet point or two
One plan looks like this:
Goal: Lose weight by...
A) Better eating – better shopping,
B) Walking the block four times a week, and
C) Riding my stationary bike during my "Game of Thrones" time.
There. You have a very specific goal and a plan in the works. The plan can change and shift to accommodate life, but the basics for success are there.
Let's try another goal:
You want to write your book. Everyone says that you are funny and that all of your Facebook postings have encouraging "likes" adding up daily. Of course you don't have an office space until your teenager moves to the basement, which can't be done until your spouse cleans all his stuff out of the downstairs bedroom. The carpet needs to be laid down there before someone can move in, and you really need a blog to start your new career of right, but your laptop isn't really fast and... See the problem here?
Let's nail it down. You don't have to have an office. It would be great, but you have overcome worse problems than that. Remember: what is your goal?