We’re a week into the new year. I’m not compelled to make New Year’s resolutions. They fail more than they succeed. If you really want to affect positive change in your life, the annual promise to yourself isn’t the right way. Here’s why you shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions…and what you should do instead.
First of all, change isn’t dictated by the calendar. The onset of a new year doesn’t have enough weight to drive true change. A study of people who made resolutions showed that, after the first week, only 75% are still sticking with them. After a month, only 64% are keeping their New Year’s resolutions. At the six-month mark, less than half—46%—remain committed to their promise. By the end of the year, only 9% of people admitted to being successful at keeping their New Year’s resolution.
What’s the obstacle? Lack of powerful motivation.
A resolution comes from having resolve, which means “make a firm decision”. Are you firm enough about your decision?
When you’re looking at a clean slate of 365 days ahead of you, it’s tempting to think that you have plenty of time to achieve lofty goals. It’s like a sumptuous feast of opportunity, but your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Before very long, you’ve had your fill.
Even when faced with a life-or-death situation, some people don’t make the choice that’s best for them. 48% of smokers who underwent surgery for lung cancer returned to smoking within a year of the procedure. One out of four survivors of a heart attack or cardiac event fail to change the behaviors that contributed to that condition. And if THAT’s not enough motivation, what does it take to change?
Master your motivation.
Stop trying to make positive life changes according to the calendar. Start with your motivation. Ask yourself why you want to change. What results are you hoping to achieve? And why do you want that to happen? Be clear on your expectations.
Simon Sinek’s bestseller “Start With Why” is a testament to the power of motivation and purpose. When your “Why” has the strength to support your effort, you will succeed.
Those people who went back to bad health habits couldn’t handle the challenge of making major life changes, even when they were risking their lives with that choice.
Before you commit to making change, check the motivation behind your resolve to ensure it can go the distance.
Map out a plan.
When you’re ready to launch into change, what steps are you going to take? And what are the milestones you’ve set for yourself? Saying “I’m going to lose 50 pounds this year” is a wish until you’ve created an action plan with a timeline. “I’m going to walk two miles a day, work out on my exercise bike an hour a day, cut out sweets and junk food, and add healthier foods to my diet. My goal is to lose 2 pounds a week.”
With this plan, you have measurable actions that are clearly mapped out. You can track how much you walk and bike. You can keep a food log to watch your diet. And you can weigh yourself to check your progress. If you fall behind one week, push harder the next. Adjust your action plan as needed, but keep your eye on the goal. And check your resolve. Are you still motivated? Maybe you need to remind yourself of the reason you chose this goal in the first place.
Start when you’re ready.
Sure, January is the start of a new year. But every day, week, and month is new as well. Don’t fall in with a crowd of people who make false promises to themselves on January 1. Draw your own starting line to give yourself a launch date. Allow sufficient time to prepare your mindset and get the elements in place, like purging your pantry of evil junk food or setting the last date you will buy cigarettes.
What changes do you want to make? If they really matter to you, make it happen. You’re the only one who can! If you need help with resolving to be a more successful new home sales professional, reach out to me!