Did you know that most people who make New Year’s Resolutions make the same one(s!) 10 times over? What does that say about success rates?? When I had the privilege of speaking at the Pendulum Summit to 2,500 delegates in January 2016, I wanted to use the opportunity to help people to achieve the goals they set themselves in their lives. Lots of people know that to achieve our dreams we need to turn them in to goals, breaking them down in to small “chunks” or steps that seem more achievable than the ultimate goal. Step by step runs a marathon! But one of the big mistakes that most people make when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions is to never learn from previous experience.
If you set yourself a resolution last January or at any time and didn’t complete it don’t just choose to “give it a lash again” this year. Chances are the same thing will happen again. Instead use what happened previously as feedback and ask yourself what went wrong. Yes, “feedback” can seem a bit corporate speak but it’s information waiting sitting there for you waiting to be unwrapped. Ask yourself why it did not work for you; don’t just say “because it was too hard” – be far more exact. For example, if your resolution was to eat more healthily, did it work for you Monday to Friday but went out the window at the weekend? Now you know you need to plan for weekends for precisely. Maybe you wanted to cut down on your social media usage; did you just use willpower or actually unsubscribe from some of your irrelevant subscriptions that you signed up to for some unknown reason?
Perhaps you wanted to get up earlier to exercise, meditate or just get some time for yourself but your efforts went out the window by morning no.3. What happened? Were you too extreme in your
ambitions? Did you try getting p at 5am when it might have been more productive to get up 15 minutes earlier than normal to begin with and then increase this time in stages?
Did you plan to get more exercise but Netflix sabotaged your efforts? What time of day did you plan to get your exercise? If it didn’t work then try changing the time of day. Yes you may have less time in the morning but the virtuous feeling you get by having it done before work energises you for hours. Or maybe it needs to get slotted in to your lunch hour or done as a social thing so that you can stay in touch with friends and walk at the same time.
None of us want to be a statistic or feel the soul destroying feeling of a failed New Year’s Resolution. Take a really good look at what happened to your previous efforts and make tweaks and changes. Reign in your goals a little if necessary to start as initial success will bring you the motivation to keep setting higher goals.
And anyway – why wait til the new year to get started?