The Problem With The Way We Set Goals
It’s that time of the year again. That time of the year where 100% of us set goals about changes we want to make in our lives and only 8% of us succeed.
Why is it so damn difficult to keep our New Year’s resolutions & how can we learn to keep the promises we make to ourselves at the beginning of every year?
The problem is
Most of us TALK about the things we want in life
Very few of us actually SET ascertainable goals
Fewer PURSUE those goals
& a minuscule amount come anywhere close to ACHIEVING those goals.
We all want to be successful right? Some of us want monetary success, some want it spiritually, others may want physical or relationship success.
The only way to define success objectively is: (1) setting a goal (2) pursuing that goal & (3) achieving that goal.
Setting a goal is really fun and inspiring, it gets you excited and gives you something to look forward to.
But what happens almost immediately after we set goals?
We forget to pursue them.
Pursuing a goal is about taking all the steps necessary to turn your dream and aspiration into reality. It’s about *the daily struggle *you have to engage in to make what you want happen. It’s about tracking your progress, developing, and adjusting your frame of mind as you move forward.
Why is this so frickin’ important to understand?
Because in order for you to actually stick to your resolutions this year, to make the life changes you promise yourself you’ll make, to add the habits you so desire and know will benefit your life, you need to find ways to remind yourself that setting a goal and achieving a goal are both nice… but they REQUIRE CONSTANT PURSUIT.
How To Make Your New Years Resolutions Stick This Year
1. Keep it VERY simple!
“Hmmm, I’m going to start a diet – no carbs till June. I’m going to work out 5 times a week. I want to sleep by 10:30 p.m. every night. I definitely need to make sure I’m better when it comes to spending. Oh yeah, I also want to meditate every day for at least an hour. Also, I’m only eating out twice a week and making absolute sure that I cook almost every meal at home.”
Please don’t be that person.
False Hope Syndrome is a phrase that designates how unrealistic we are about the process of changing our ordinary behaviors.
When we’re excited and motivated to create change, we’re unable to accurately assess the speed, effort, ease and consequences of self-change.
Most of us get over-eager about all the incredible things we want to do when setting our New Years resolutions that we forget the most important thing of all… actually doing something.
What follows over-zealousness is a feeling of being overwhelmed.
Eventually, when motivation fades and we realize how much we’ve put on our plate, we get scared.
Our fear of failure then paralyzes us, freezes us into inaction, and we never end up taking even one step in the direction of any of our goals because we’ve given ourselves so much to do that we’re unsure where to start.
This year, try and choose 1-2 changes you want to struggle with throughout the year.
If you have a good grasp on them and you feel you’re ready to change more, great. If not, you have clearly defined goals you can continue to struggle with.
2. Make sure your goals are realistic & practical
When it comes to goal-setting and New Years resolutions, we’re usually too idealistic about the quality of goals we set. Not only do we set too many goals, but we set unrealistic and impractical ones.
Be realistic about what you can accomplish. If your overall goal is to diet, don’t make a goal of eating 0 carbs and 6 meals a day if you know you’re not up for the task. Start small. Have one carb-less meal a day for a week and build on that progress. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Make sure the goals you set are practical in the sense that they serve a specific purpose that will enhance your quality of life. If you’re happy with your body, you probably won’t get much utility out of a diet. If you REALLY REALLY love sleeping in in the morning and you see the point to waking up any earlier, don’t.
Take a step back and look at your life right now.
What do you need?
What do you wish you could have more time for?
What would make you happier?
What are causes for unhappiness in your life?
Which qualities do you consistently wish you could change about yourself?
Ask yourself sincere questions and work with practical ways to approach resolving those issues or chasing those desires.
3. Make a plan of action
If you just choose overarching goals without designating specific actions that you’ll take towards those goals, you’re setting yourself up for failure from the start.
To actually create the positive changes you want to see, you need to be very specific about what it is you’re going to do.
The reason being that we need specified tasks that can serve as measuring sticks. Without being very specific about the actions we want to take, we can never be sure whether we’re following through on our goals or not.
We’re really good at making ourselves believe that we’re doing more than we actually are.
Don’t allow yourself to lie to yourself about your progress. Set ascertainable goals that are rooted in action.
A little motivation
The pursuit of your goals defines who you are.
It defines the struggle that takes place inside you daily. It defines your willpower, and your willpower defines your ability to not just SAY the things you want, but to actually go out into this big beautiful world and make them happen.
Setting habit goals, and pursuing those habit goals to enact dramatic change in your life is literally the act of building your willpower, and your willpower is carried with you throughout your life.
IT IS YOUR ABILITY, YOUR CAPACITY, YOUR STRENGTH & THE ONLY RESOURCE YOU NEED TO SUCCEED.
So when you wake up tomorrow morning and you have the goal of either waking up early with a purpose, meditating to clear your mind and unwind your emotions, reading to expand your knowledge, eating healthy so that you can look good and feel good, or becoming a fitness beast to boost your confidence and attraction.
What Defines You is your ability to say no to what hinders you in pursuit of your goals and at the same time, your ability to take action in pursuit of your goals.
Every single day you take even one tiny action toward your goals, your life is changing, your willpower is being strengthened, and therefore your ability to succeed in every aspect of your life is enhanced because a fundamental change is taking place within you…
You slowly form into action…
What you say you want begins to have meaning..
Your life begins to take the shape you always dreamed it would….