Let's talk statistics. I want to give the bad news before we talk about a solution to the problem.
* 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week.
* 60 percent of people abandon them within six months. (The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success.)
* Only 5 percent of those who lose weight on a diet keep it off; 95% regain it. A significant percentage gain back more than they originally lost.
* Even after a heart attack, only 14 percent of patients make any lasting changes around eating or exercise.
I need to get something off my chest. You may or may not agree with me and that is fine. We can talk about it. Just keep an open mind as you continue to read (hopefully).
Setting new goals can be depressing. I've witnessed this mindset with clients, friends, and family I've worked with over the years, and I've even felt the same way personally sometimes. On one hand, we take stock of all we didn't do that we thought we might during the current year, and on the other hand, we face another year and wonder if we can muster a shred of hope to make things different.
What should we do instead? Should we throw out all the sticky notes, do away with making a list of resolutions or what?
I can tell you what I've done that has drastically changed at how I set goals, and achieve the things that I want to do different year to year.
Did you know that research shows that people who focus on the process of achieving the desired outcome are more likely to achieve it than those who simply think about the outcome itself? The key difference is focusing on the process of achieving the desired outcome, not just thinking about the outcome.
Last year I wrote about having a new mindset and creating a mantra for the year. This year I want to discuss a new way of framing the things you want to achieve.
1) Write it down.
Sounds simple, right? Don't jump ahead on me yet. Let me explain.
Life is hard. It is particularly difficult when you aren’t seeing progress. You feel like you're working yourself to death, going nowhere. But written goals are like mile-markers on a highway. They enable you to see how far you have come and how far you need to go. They also provide an opportunity for celebration when you attain them. Writing into your future further engages your imagination, emotions, and other problem-solving faculties so that you more fully assimilate the process ahead.
2) Tell someone.
There are two problems with trying to lay out your goals and then attain them alone. One, isolation. A major contributing factor to people feeling blue during the holidays is social isolation. Friendship is a lot like food. We need it to survive. We seem to have a basic drive for it. Psychologists find that human beings have the fundamental need for inclusion in group life and for close relationships. We are truly social animals. We function best when this social need is met. It is easier to stay motivated, to meet the varied challenges of life. When we share our goals with a trusted person in our life we will be held accountable and have the opportunity to share the ups and downs of the journey to reach our goals. Finding accountability groups, masterminds, or other circles can help us attain our goals. Such circles provide inspiration for getting new ideas, gaining strategy for meeting challenges, and celebrating when milestones are reached.
Mindset, a strong will, and positive action all help us manifest our vision, goals, and intentions. You should get started, right now.