According to Psychology Today, “80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.” Almost everyone has their New Year’s resolution ready for January 1st, but what’s the point? The fact that eight out of ten people give up and ditch their goals so early has me thinking about the way we motivate ourselves. We can spend our time talking about why these resolutions fail, but let’s focus on how to move them past that February 1 checkpoint.
Setting Specific Goals
Let’s start by setting goals that are specific and realistic. For example, I talk to a lot of people that have the goal of eating healthier and losing some weight. The New Year’s Resolution of “lose twelve pounds” sounds a lot scarier than the goal of “lose a pound per month” and we’d be more likely to achieve a resolution by spacing it out. The act of setting “mini goals” is underrated and has the potential to add some real structure to our lives, which takes us into our next important point.
Just as a healthy business monitors checks and balances, individuals need to implement goal checkpoints to assure everything is on track. Instead of setting a goal and blindly chasing it, we need to track progress every so often. For example, if the goal is to save money then it would be helpful to take fifteen minutes at the end of each week to assess spending. Checkpoints help us get back on track and save us from failing completely.
Surrounding Ourselves with Finishers
We’ve covered setting specific goals and establishing checkpoints, but our social circle is the last piece to the puzzle. If everyone around is giving up on their resolutions and goals, it puts a lot more pressure on us to succeed. It’s crucial we keep positive individuals around us as we select our resolutions for the new year. A little competition can lend some motivation to achieve goals and that’s key to getting past that February 1st mark.