You probably already failed to stick to your New Year's resolutions... Here's why!
If you're like most people, you probably made some New Year's resolutions this past week. And....if you're like most people, you've probably already failed to stick to some or all of them! Now now....don't feel bad. It's ok. You are absolutely not alone.
But why aren't you alone? Why do millions of people around the world make New Year's resolutions that they don't stick to? Is it that they really aren't all that serious about them? Is it that they just don't care? Or maybe it's something that we are doing subconsciously that makes it impossible to stick to these new-found commitments.
Most of us make a list of New Year's resolutions. That's right...a LIST! And with the crazy lives we lead and the million different distractions we are exposed to every day, it's no surprise that most (if not all) of these resolutions fall by the wayside before the ink with which they're written is even dry.
For many of us New Year's resolutions are made up of two things: Things we want to START doing and things we want to STOP doing. Right? And that's fine. Where the breakdown occurs is within the planning and execution.
Below I am going to briefly outline a fundamental breakdown which occur when it comes to sticking to New Year's resolutions and provide some quick tips to help you make this year different from the past.
Breakdown: You have a LIST!
Now before you think I made a typo hear me out. The fact that you have a list is ok. The fact that you are trying to start conquering the entire list all at once....NOT ok. And this is destined to lead you failure. You see, we're all humans and respond to positive reinforcement. But when we have a list of 10 things to do hanging over us and we become overwhelmed, things don't get done. And when a couple of things don't get done, it effects our moods about getting the other stuff done.
One of the secrets to success when it comes to implementing change in our lives is "little wins." We MUST give ourselves little wins and reward ourselves accordingly once we acquire a win. That is why when I have a long To-Do list, I take the 2 most important things I want/need to get done and 1 simple thing that I know I can get done and put those on a separate piece of paper. That's the list I work off of until all 3 get done. I'll work on one important task and get it done. Then I'll tackle the easy one. Next thing I know, I have 2 out of the 3 things crossed of my list and I only have 1 thing to go before my list is DONE! Not overwhelming at all. But if I had kept my list of 10 things in front of my face, I would more than likely feel no sense of accomplishment staring at a list with 1 or 2 down....AND 8 TO GO.
So when it comes to resolutions, go ahead....make your list. But then take just ONE THING....the thing that you want to change that is MOST important to you, and focus on just that. Make sure you write down next to it WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU! This is almost more important that writing down the resolution itself. We are humans....we are inherently altruistic. We need to know...."what's in it for me?" Be sure to declare your WHY right next to your resolution.
Carry it with you everywhere. Write it everywhere. Make it your wallpaper on your phone. Do whatever it takes to make sure that ONE THING is NEVER out of sight - out of mind. Once you get a good hold of it and see yourself sticking to that resolution, go back to your list and start on #2.
And listen, if all you can focus on is #1 this year because you have too much going on and the work to stick to #1 is tough enough, that's fine! At the end of the year, if you chose 1 thing and made just that 1 change in your world over the last 12 months...that's a WIN. I would rather 1 Big Win for the year than a list of 10 things I wanted to change....but never got around to doing because staring at all 10 and trying to conquer all 10 was too overwhelming.
Try this approach and let me know how it works out for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like more tips and life hacks or if you want to share your story of success!
-Make your list 1 item long
-Write your WHY next to your 1 item
-Do at least one thing every single day to go after that 1 item. Yes....every day. I don't care if it's Sunday, a holiday, your birthday, raining.....whatever. If you're serious about it, you'll do it....EVERY DAY. The difference between failure and success is measured in DESIRE!
-Focus on it and only it until it's your new reality
- Suresh Madhavan