Whether you want to get into better shape, improve your financial position, work on a relationship, finish a project or travel to a new destination; every year, most of us commit to some type of a New Year’s Resolution, proclaiming to ourselves that “this will be the year I finally [fill in the blank]!”
Some keep their resolutions simple while others write detailed lists of goals with action plans and deadlines.
The Opinion Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey found the following statistics in a recent survey about New Year’s Resolutions:
45% of Americans usually set New Year’s Resolutions, and of those
– 34% set resolutions related to money
– 38% set resolutions related to weight
– 47% set resolutions related to self-improvement or education
– 31% set resolutions related to relationships
Only 8% of those people who set resolutions are successful in achieving them (meaning 92% fail!)
So, why do so many people fail to accomplish their goals?
They simply stop trying.
2012 is already well on its way so now is a great time to stop and assess where we are relative to our resolutions. If you’ve already lost track of your goals, have experienced some setbacks or lack motivation, don’t worry; all is not lost!
Consider Six Ways to Get Your New Year’s Resolutions Back on Track!
1. Be Honest With Yourself
It might be time to sit down and take a personal inventory on how you are doing relative to your goals. To do this successfully, it requires being honest with yourself to determine what is going well and where you need to focus more to achieve the desired results. For example, don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re doing everything in your power to lose weight if you know you could work harder in the gym or do more to control your eating habits. Be honest with yourself and change where change is due.
Don’t forget to keep it simple too. Often times people set goals, which are too complex, have numerous details, and are unrealistic. One way to reach a goal is to make it obtainable. I suggest setting three separate goals based on your overall objective, including time lines:
1. Short-term 2. Halfway 3. Final
By setting these three, you feel that you’ve achieved something and will build momentum, even though more work is yet to be completed.
Avoid “starting over” in an attempt to be perfect. Challenges are part of the growth experience so don’t get down if you’ve made some bad decisions or have gotten away from your path towards lasting improvement. There is no need to give up or start over. Instead, simply do what it takes to overcome and win, which may simply mean it’s time to re-commit to keep going and trying harder.
If you feel that failure has overcome you, write down the reasons, or better yet excuses why you think you failed up to this point. By putting these thoughts on paper it will help you avoid these in the future.
3. Develop A (Different) Plan of Action
If you’ve set goals but don’t have a detailed plan outlining the specific steps you are going to take to be successful; now is the time to do so. If you already have a plan but it doesn’t seem to be working, then make some changes. It’s one thing to have a plan and follow it; it’s another to have the right plan that works for you, and it isn’t uncommon to have to modify your plan of action along the way.
4. Declare Your Accountability
Achieving challenging goals requires both support and accountability. Increase your odds of success by telling people about your goals and when you plan on accomplishing them – it builds accountability and urgency since you know people will be asking about your progress. Post your goals in a highly used area, maybe on your refrigerator! Yes, I know it sounds elementary, but if you visually see your goals and the progress you’ve made, it becomes part of your daily life.
Take it a step further by building a support group around you, especially a group that consists of people that have already reached the goals you’re trying to attain for yourself. It’s powerful to have someone at your side that has already been in your shoes – their motivation and guidance is priceless. Whatever you do, don’t try to go it alone.
5. Think Positively
Buddha said it best when he said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts.” Practice envisioning what it will feel like to accomplish your goal, why this goal is important, how your life will change and what people will say to you when they notice your success. Staying positive, even in the face of adversity can be the difference between success and failure.
6. Refuse to Quit
Refuse to quit and eventually, success will come. As the famed football coach Knute Rockne often said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” Those who have success in accomplishing their goals simply find a way to make it happen. You may need to re-commit several times, try different approaches, and seek out support groups and more. What’s important is that you don’t give up.
Follow these six tips and be among the 8% of people who accomplish their goals during 2012! As of the date this post was published, we still have three quarters of the year left to find success. Regardless how much time has passed, there is always enough time to recommit and make things happen!
Todd Bassler, Certified Personal Trainer
Todd was born and raised in Vermont and grew up playing competitive ice hockey which he continued through college. Prior to joining Premier Fitness, he was the Fitness Manager of six 24-Hour Fitness locations. Todd holds the NASM certification, a B.S. In Psychology and a Minor in Athletic Coaching. Todd lives in Carlsbad with his wife and 2 children.