Studies I’ve read over the years show that people who set New Years goals don’t actually achieve them. In fact, of the 41% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, only 9% passed keeping them.
To research can even predict what day you’ll give up on your New Year’s goals. Strava has documented over 800 million user-logged activities in 2019 and found most people to throw in the towel on January 19, which Strava succinctly dubbed “Day of renunciation”.
If you want to break the cycle of your own annual quitting ritual, do what the remaining 9 percent of those who have been successful in setting and achieving goals always do well.
1. Set specific and ambitious goals
To research found that when people followed these two principles – setting specific and challenging goals – it led to higher performance 90 percent of the time. The more specific and challenging your goals, the higher your motivation to achieve them. This explains why easy or vague goals are rarely achieved. For example, if your goal this year is to lose 30 pounds, this might be a challenge for you, but it might not be specific enough. You’ll want to remove the blur and make it more achievable by articulating it like this: During the summer months of June, July, and August, I’m going to lose five pounds every month by cutting out sugar and all the fast food and walking. 45 minutes four times a week. When you have so much clarity around your goal, your chances of hitting the goal increase dramatically.
2. Set goals that you want to pursue with relentless motivation and passion.
The 8 percent of those who succeed at setting goals want it, and badly. Check in with yourself before setting goals and have an honest dialogue with yourself. Are you totally exhausted for reaching your goal? When obstacles arise along the way, will you do whatever it takes to keep going? The Relentless 8% have an internal compass that keeps them locked in until they reach the top of the mountain. It’s having a “do whatever it takes” mentality that comes from an intrinsic drive at the core of their being. Questions to ask yourself: how much do I want it? Who holds me responsible until the end? Is my heart really there from the start? What will life be like once you reach your goal? In the end, will it be worth it?
3. Get an assistance system
We all have to procrastinate or lose our motivation, it’s human on our part. To counter these unproductive behaviors, your chances of hitting a specific goal increase dramatically if you get frequent feedback that will keep you on track. People who are successful in achieving their goals benefit tremendously from the feedback and accountability of coaches, coaches, or trusted friends. They surround themselves with those who will accompany them on their journey.
4. Focus on smaller goals to reach your big goal.
To reach a big goal this year, work on several small pieces to reach that big goal. Focus on one small piece at a time, then move on to the next. As you break the big goal into smaller pieces, each of those pieces should have their own deadlines. For example, if your big goal is a goal that will take several months or a whole year to achieve, act now by setting realistic target dates to achieve your goals in the immediate future. In other words, find something you can do this week to start taking action now for next week or next month. If the main goal is to save money, budget this week for the following week. If it’s to lose weight, make a plan to commit to losing two pounds the next week.
To bring him home, remember the words of Aristotle, who nailed him over 2,000 years ago when he said, “We are what we do over and over again. By practicing these skills, expect to dramatically improve your success rate for the year.