I know it feels a little late to be talking about New Years resolutions as statistically people give them up by January 17. But I'd like to delve into WHY only 8% of people achieve them and why more and more people stop even making them.
Without a doubt we all have the impulse to evolve. I believe that deep down we all want to improve and grow – so why do so little of us set goals? (3%, and only 1% write them down)
I only started writing down my goals and dreams about 4 years ago when I applied to be a Lululemon ambassador. We had to write down our 1, 5 and 10 year goals. Since then, I've had a yearly ritual of sitting down and visualizing my dream for the year to come. At the end of the year I review my goal and see how I did. What's awesome is that each year many (not all) of my goals materialize. (The ones that don't come true get pushed to the next year) But that's the thing with goals, they should be a STRETCH. You should have a 50/50 chance of attaining them for them to qualify as a worthy "goal".
Over the past few years of learning more about behavioral science and the art of habit change, I've learned a few tips on HOW to actually make real change in real time. Since I've acquired these skills, more and more of my dreams are coming true.
I thought I would dive into 10 reasons we don't achieve our goals and over the next 10 weeks I'll be breaking down what it actually takes to get you there. So re-instate your New Years resolution and make this the year that you make it happen. FOR REAL.
Your goals aren't SMART. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. There's an art to setting goals that puts you on the path to success. If you don’t have specific actions, track your progress, make sure they are realistic, desirable, and within a certain time-frame, chances are you might be making the same goal next year.
Your goals aren't grounded in daily habits. Whether it's improving your diet or getting fit, it comes down to what you do daily, not once in a while. To create change that sticks, you need new habits. "Your audacious goals are fabulous. We're proud of you for making them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you—the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself." - Seth Godin.
You try to change everything at once. This is why diets don't work. Motivation is like a muscle that can get exhausted and depleted which leaves you with your hand in the cookie jar and your waistline bigger than when you started (97% of dieters regain the weight lost within 3 years).
You don’t invest in yourself. What got you here won't get you there. So chances are you probably need to learn some stuff that you don't already know. This means investing in some guidance (this could be a time or money investment).
You procrastinate. Let's face it – change is difficult. As human beings we like to conserve energy and stay comfortable. To do the difficult thing requires motivation and willpower (both unreliable and limited resources). Learning how to take action without having to rely on both is key.
You don’t believe in yourself. Maybe you've failed to reach your goals in the past and given up on yourself enough times that you've lost hope and trust in yourself. "Whether you think you can or you think you can't – you're right".- Henry Ford
You don't have a plan. If your goal is to eat better you need to know how you're going to do it. This requires getting organized, scheduling it in and sticking to the plan.
You're a perfectionist. If your tendency is to be hard on yourself and set unrealistically high expectations (that you never live up to), beware. Perfectionism gets in the way of progress and attempts to sabotage our goals. It makes us procrastinate, give up and erodes our self-worth.
You don’t create an environment that supports your goals. If you're not surrounding yourself with people with the same goals, studies have shown that you will default to the lowest common denominator. And if you're not architecturing your space in a way that will support the changes you want to make, you will default to the habitual (not the optimal).
You try to do it alone – The stats are overwhelming in this realm, your chances of success are seven times greater if you are part of a group and employ peer support.
"There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others."
Over the next 10 weeks I will be breaking down these barriers that prevent you from reaching your goals and resolutions so that you can live your best life ever. I'll be sharing my tried and true tools for achieving your highest potential. Stay tuned...
p.s. If you know someone who would like to get in on the goods, please forward and share. I'll be revealing some real gems : )