Are you still going strong on your New Year’s resolutions? We’re only 22 days in and I bet a few of you have gotten a little off track, or even given up. I’m not singling you out, this stuff is hard! According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.
That’s a pretty big number. That means that only 20% of people are still going strong ONLY 2 months in. How many people actually make it on to complete their goals for the year? 10%, 5%…less?
New Year’s resolutions may not seem like a huge deal, but many of those resolutions are tied to the DREAMS we have for ourselves. And if so many of us are failing, we’re also giving up and delaying our dreams. We’re leaving them like shiny trophies to accomplish someday, just not today, or even this year.
Why do we fail? Could it be that so many of us are great at imagining the result (because hey, that’s the easy part), but not digging any deeper? And why aren’t we digging deeper? Is it that we are truly incapable….or that maybe we just don’t know where to start?
I know for me that has always been a challenge. So in this post I’m providing my basic roadmap for making your dreams a reality in 2018.
Let your mind have fun with this step. What do you want in your life this year, in five years, and even in ten years? Dream as BIG and as much as you want. Let your creative juices flow and brainstorm what life could be like if there were no limits.
Now, let’s start making these dreams a little more tangible. Take one of the dreams that stands out to you. Start visualizing it down to even the tiniest details. If you want to lose weight, hone in on what that looks like and how your body feels when you are thinner. Spend some time here. How do people react? How does it change the tasks you do daily?
Now dive even deeper. Why? Why do you want to be thin. Is it the extra energy you feel? Is it that you can accomplish more in a day? Is it that you are more able to participate in activities with your friends? The “why” here can be different for everyone, and what’s important is that you find something that is true to your heart. Your “why” is your motivation. When things seem tough, revisit this moment and imagine what it feels like to accomplish your goal and why you are here. Your “why” gives your goals meaning and it becomes a personal religion. It will push you forward when you teeter on quitting.
Here comes the work (it had to come sometime).
Learn about what you are trying to accomplish, study people who are successful at what you are seeking to accomplish. Spend some hours really getting familiar with what you are trying to do and how to do it. The internet is vast and has resources for almost anything if you look in the right place – use it. It may be overwhelming at first, so talk to someone who is successful and see what blogs and websites they use for resources.
Get obsessive, look at every resource and let that energy to get started build.
Once you have researched some tools of how to be successful, it’s time to make a written plan. A written plan provides structure and accountability. Give it a timeline. Make sure it is reasonable and realistic based off of the research you have done. (You can always adjust this later, but the more accurate your timeline is, the easier it will be to accomplish.) Make small milestones along the way that you can celebrate. It will make the progress real to you and motivate you to continue.
In such a data rich world, it’s entirely possible someone has already paved the golden path to your dreams with a plan that you can use. If you find a plan that might work for you, try it. And if you fail, try again with something different. What works for one person does not work for all.
Using someone else’s plan is a great way to save on resources and time. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just make sure we understand how to use it.
Execute your plan. Make small adjustments as necessary. Develop a method of accountability. Some people can be accountable to themselves and set up a system of rewards and punishment. Some people need others to help support them, whether that is checking in with a family member or friend. My personal favorite, where the goal merits it, are group classes. I can work out for an hour straight without quitting when there is a room full of people. Put me by myself and I start strong, but then start cutting corners. One minutes less won’t really hurt…and pretty soon I’m on the couch binge eating cheetos and feeling sorry for myself.
All this pain and transformation needs to be celebrated. Make sure and recognize your small successes, even if it is just taking a moment to close your eyes and feel the energy of your success. When you accomplish a big goal, make it a real party! Get excited. You just gave it all you had – and you made it!
2018 might be a new year, but it’s still the same old me. If I want to see real transformation, it’s going to take some big dreams and a plan!
When you operate off a plan and break something down into digestible pieces, it doesn’t look like the big scary beast anymore. Each time we move past one piece, we can see our success because it is now measurable by the small milestones we set. And it’s invigorating.
So get dreaming and planning…make 2018 your year!
I’m all about productivity and using good technology to my advantage. Here are some digital tools I use that may fit some of your New Year’s resolutions:
Every Dollar – A free money budgeting app by Dave Ramsey
This app is totally free to use and allows you to easily create a monthly budget and enter your expenses. A great tool to help you get financially fit this year.
A friend introduced me to this app and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It tells you exactly how far to run each day and even gives you some verbal encouragement along the way. It is not free, but the app is pretty cheap.
This is a great digital journal to record your exercise and eating habits. It’s a great way to keep yourself accountable and notice trends in your eating and exercise habits. .