Have you ever made a successful New Year’s resolution? If you are like the majority, probably not. In fact, about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Most quit by February.
Resolutions are great in theory. We should all be on a journey towards self-improvement. I have learned however, the greatest distance in the world is between words and action.
Resolutions work wonderfully at the start because that is when we are most highly motivated to change – our willpower is at a peak level. However, as days turn into weeks, and February rolls around, only 20% remain chasing their goals and aspirations they set only four weeks prior. Why? Because it is human nature to quit when we feel discomfort; or we fail to see immediate results. Success requires an ability to not only overcome discomfort, but to actually seek it out; in addition, you must actually enjoy the slow process of change. Begin to focus on the journey, and not the destination. Anything worthwhile in life takes time.
2018 was the first year I was able to accomplish all of my New Year’s Resolutions. How did I do it? Here is what I did:
My Plan To A Successful Resolution
My plan is only three steps. That’s it! I feel like the more complicated a plan gets, the more unlikely that the plan will be useful. Like when I need directions, the easier the directions to the destination, the more likely I will get there. I don’t want a lot of twists and turns. If you can tell me how to get to where I want to go in three steps or less, I know I will be successful. You’ve asked for directions. Here is my map:
1. Small Pieces
This is where most people fail, because they don’t see huge results right away. To be successful, it is necessary to focus on small wins and victories.
In 2018, I made it a goal to write a book by the end the year. I knew I wanted my book to be roughly 35,000 – 38,000 words. I divided this number by 365 days, and realized that to accomplish my goal, I would need to write on average, 116 words per day. That’s it! This may seem excessively small, but 116 words only took me anywhere from 2-8 minutes, depending on my content. When you progress towards small wins every day, they eventually compound into huge victories (a book)!
Instead of my resolution being to write two hours a day (I would have most certainly failed at this), I created a tiny win that I had to chase each day. Certainly I was able to forge 2-8 minutes from my schedule to write!
2. Tell A lot Of People
Tell as many people as you can about your plans. Post it on your social media. Be very specific too. When you tell others about your plans, you become accountable to them. This is called positive pressure. Because you don’t want to let others down, and you want to be a person of your word, you will be more likely to accomplish your resolution when you tell people.
3. Give Yourself a Deadline
People generally work better under pressure. Give yourself a specific deadline in which to accomplish your resolution. You want to quit smoking? Give yourself a deadline. You want to lose 5 pounds? Give yourself a deadline. The more specific you can be about your deadline, the more successful you will be.
Thoughts About The Plan
When I wrote my book, my deadline was December 31/2018. I finished on June 30/2018 instead. Why?
- When I saw myself achieving small wins of 116 words per day, I was inspired to write more than 116 words. I began to love the process.
- I told people constantly that I was going to write a book, which held me to a high level of accountability.
- I told people about my deadline. The deadline made the finish line real.
In other words, THE PLAN WORKS!
I challenge you to use this simple plan as you map out your resolutions for 2019. The key is not to overwhelm yourself with too many, life-altering changes. Divide your goals into small pieces, tell everyone, and set deadlines. You have the ability to be like the 8%.
I promise, if you follow my plan, you too, will experience a very successful year.
- Be sure to follow me on INSTAGRAM. Each day I will post an inspiring message…a thought for the day…to help push you towards success.
- Be sure to read my other leadership posts. Check back every Sunday for the next article that will challenge you and prepare you for a life of impact and success.
- My book, “Seeds of Excellence for Teens: 24 Life Principles For Those Who Want to Stand Out From The Crowd“, is available on Amazon.