“A New Year, A New Me”
“New Year’s Resolution”
“My New Year’s Goals”
No matter what you called it, most of us began the New Year over four months ago with specific goals in mind that we’d like to accomplish. Even those of us who publicly railed against New Year’s Resolutions (myself included) secretly made a list of at least one thing we might like to accomplish this year. Personally, I made a list of 10 things; five things I would do this year and five things I would not do this year. For most of us, this is where resolutions end. We make the best decisions of our lives- declaring that we will spend more time in the gym and we will eat healthier and we will drink more water and we- holy smokes, is that chocolate cake!
According to Forbes Magazine just 8% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions manage to keep them. Aside from all of the yumminess that stands in between me and my goal of rocking buns of steel, there are a number of ways I sabotage my own resolutions every year. And judging from my Facebook feed, I’m not alone. I keep hearing that the biggest threat to meeting goals seems to be a lack of commitment. But that excuse seems so generic. Such a cop out. What does “lack of commitment” even mean, anyway?
Here are the top five reasons I believe (based on very scientific research… you know, asking my Facebook friends) it’s so difficult to meet our resolutions every year.
1. No plan. Award winning author Jocelyn Green sets herself small goals with dates to accomplish them by. Each small goal is a part of the bigger goal- in her case, the publication of a book. Not having a plan to accomplish your resolutions seems like a first rate way to fail.
2. Not understanding your motivation. Tim Hickson, owner of Woodmaster’s Workshop, says, “Vision is everything… We buy exercise equipment or gym memberships hoping to get into shape. The equipment is the means, the tools so to speak but without a clear vision we are quite often defeated before we begin. I will quit smoking so that I can be healthier, stronger, fitter, better from my family, playing with my children and for my long-term health etc.This is vision!” What is your vision? What will motivate you to success?
3. Not understanding your past failures. EJ Smith of Simply EJ tells me, “Figure out the things that have derailed you in the past, make a plan for those items.”
4. No accountability. Personally, if I have something I really want to accomplish (like go to college), I tell the world. This way, at the risk of embarrassing myself for not attempting it, I’m more likely to try. Patti Katter, founder and president of Voice Of Warriors agrees. “As far as accountability, it depends on the project – if it’s a public event that’s motivation enough because I don’t want the public to see me as a failure.” I think the best thing I could recommend, in order to make your resolutions the most successful they can be, is to find someone else who’s actively resolved to do something similar and spend time with that person. Or just stalk them- like I do with all of my favorite people.
5. Priorities don’t match needs. Just the other day, while describing to my mother the horror of having to purchase an outfit for a wedding last minute only to discover that the one that finally fit me was MUCH larger than I was buying just a year ago, I lamented that I really needed to get to the gym, but that I’d been up all night and I really needed to just take an hour nap. “You have priorities, Kate!” She replied, laughingly encouraging me to go lie down. I stifled a yawn and groaned, “But my priorities don’t currently match my needs.”
It’s important that, when attempting to meet your New Year’s Resolutions, you know… four months in to the New Year, your priorities and your needs match. If you’re an overweight smoker with bad knees and asthma, your first priority shouldn’t be to run two marathons by Memorial Day, it should be how to cut back on and quit smoking so that you can get your asthma problem under control before addressing your weight issues that, upon setting yourself on track to lose weight, should solve your bad knees dilemma. When you’ve gotten all of that wrapped up, then you should start planning your marathons. Understand your needs and make it your priority to address those needs.
So what were your resolutions for 2014? How are you doing now that we are over four months into the year? We would love to hear how much you have accomplished or how you plan to renew your committment to your goals!
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