I know its only been 3 weeks since New Year’s, but can you seriously say you are still working on your New Year’s Resolution? In the next week over 36% of people who made a New Year’s Resolution will have kicked it to the curb. Whether it was too hard, or it wasn’t the right goal for you, or you forgot about it as soon as you made it, point is over a third of those lofty resolutions are out the door before we are even out of the month of January. Not to mention by the time we hit the summer solstice over half of those resolutions are long gone.
11 million people a year in the USA do accomplish their New Year Resolution, which sounds like a fantastic number. However, that 11 million only accounts for 8% of the number of people who actually started the year with a resolution. That means only 3 out of every 100 people in the USA will accomplish a New Years Resolution in 2015.
Have I depressed you enough yet about your New Year’s Resolution?
Depression is not what I am aiming for here, but what I am looking for is self realization. Realization of the fact that making that resolution was easy, accomplishing it takes real work.
Why do we make these “Resolutions” anyway?
We all want to achieve something. We all do, and the #1 New Year’s Resolution is… drum roll please…. To Lose Weight.
Even thought weight loss is an easy goal to set, it is a far harder one to accomplish. It is not only setting one goal, but many little goals. To lose weight many small goals need to be accomplished in the course of the weight loss journey. For many it means changes to diet, adding or increasing fitness levels, sleeping more, cooking instead of going out, and/or creating a routine for how to fit all these changes into your life.
Just thinking about all these changes is exhausting. No wonder roughly 50 million people will have quite their New Year’s Resolution by this time next week.
Now lets talk about how you set that goal and actually be apart of the 8%. The biggest and most important thing you need to do is Create a Plan.
Planning is the sure fire way to make something happen. If you don’t have a plan, you are planning to fail right from the start. Its just like throwing out the directions when you buy a new piece of furniture, and can’t figure out why it isn’t level on the floor. Or not reading the ingredient list of a recipe, and realizing halfway through cooking you are missing the most important ingredient.
Creating a plan is easy, but creating a successful plan isn’t always easy. If you follow the below 5 tips when creating your plan, you can improve your odds of actually achieving that New Year’s Resolution this year.
5 Tips for Creating a Successful Plan to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution:
1. Write it down- Get out your pen and paper. Yes, this might sound archaic in 2015, but just do it. Now write down that goal on the top of the page. Below that write down all all of the steps you are going to take to get there. Sticking with the resolution of weight loss, write down how you will change your diet, how and when will you add fitness, what is your goal date to achieve your goal, do you need to change your sleep habits, how will you create time in your day to make all of these new things happen, etc.
2. Start small, Celebrate small wins- With your list of small goals under your larger resolution, create road map for how you will accomplish those goals. This week I will bring my lunch from home every day. Next week, I will get 8 hours of sleep each night. Week 3, I will start a new workout program, join a gym or go for a run 3x per week. After accomplishing and maintaining each goal, give your self a small reward. Buy your self A new workout tank, lunch out one day, a movie date with your significant other, or a small treat (not a cheat day or meal, just a treat) in reward for your progress. Setting milestones will keep you actively thinking about your goal, and working toward the next “prize”.
3. Get a partner- Find someone you can talk to openly about your goal. This person can be your significant other, your best friend, a community on facebook, a co-worker, a family member, anyone that you can confide in and who will help you stay accountable. This person doesn’t have to have the same goal as you, but you want someone that holds you accountable to your goal. Someone that will check in with you even when you don’t bring up the topic, someone who will encourage you even when you are in a slump, and someone that will celebrate each of your small wins with you. After finding this person or group, make sure you ask them to be your accountability partner, and explain what you need from them. This will ensure they know they can be open with you and you with them.
4. Know WHY you set the resolution- You set this Resolution for a reason, so know it! When you have a deep connection to your goal, you are more likely to accomplish it. Keeping the reason in the front of your mind when it seems like the end is far from your grasp, or you want to give up, will help you ground yourself and keep going. That deep rooted want will make all the difference on the hardest of days.
5. Don’t give up- This is the HARDEST part. Don’t stop, for anything. There will be days it is hard, there will be days that you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, and you want to walk away because you “think” the resolution really wasn’t for you. On those days, remind yourself of the plan you created, remind yourself of the small wins you have already achieved, remind yourself of the commitment you made to yourself and your partner, and remind yourself of your WHY. Then remind yourself that because of all of these things, you have put in too much hard work to stop short of the finish line. Keep on going, and before you know it, your resolution will be accomplished!
What is your New Year’s Resolution? And are you going to be apart of the 8% that achieve it in 2015?