Why is it so difficult to Keep to a New Year’s Resolution?
Many of us make a New Year’s Resolutions at the start of every New Year. But what if, setting ourselves a goal is counter productive – that we will probably fail? Should we still make them and if so what can we do that will help us succeed?
There is something about endings and beginnings which causes us to take stock and reassess our successes and failures. This is not a problem but often when we do this, we tend be overly critical which can make us feel rather uncomfortable.
If our discomfort is strong enough it probably will cause us to act but, those actions are more like knee-jerk actions rather than considered well planned interventions. Thus, often New Year’s Resolutions tend to be more like sudden inspirations and unfortunately having INSPIRATIONS does not necessarily mean CHANGE!!
Personally, I have been inspired many times and sometimes I have been able to follow though for a period of time but generally after a while those old habits creep in and all my good intentions were eroded away.
In my book, The AHA Moment, I write about my yo-yo dieting pattern which held me hostage for many, many years. I did just about every diet known and yet I still put the weight back on and even more some. I believe that this was because when I was inspired to lose, I would get excited and go at it with such vigor but when the reality set in and I realised just how hard it was going to be long-term to maintain it, I gave in and went back to my old ways.
Do we need goals – Absolutely YES!!!
Now goals are important because they give us Focus, Resilience and most of all, a way to get us out of the bad feeling even if the over-riding truth is that most GOALS OFTEN FAIL.
So what do we need to do that will most likely make our goals last? Here are some ideas
We must to balance the amount of effort that it will take to do the new task against running old automatic patterns that are invested in keeping us the same.
Just pretending that will-power alone will do this is foolery because the fact is that although there are people may have huge amounts of will-power, most of us will give in at some point. I certainly did!
Therefore: We must determine how we are going to action our goals to “Maximise effect for the Least Amount of Effort” The fairy-tale story regarding The Hair and the Tortoise gives us an idea how we might go about this.
Baby-steps, repeated systematic small steps help us get to the goal. And, not only that, it also lays the foundation for neurogenisis (creation of new neural connections) to take place. Here we generate the new neural pattern and also eliminate the old ones.
We must set a GOAL that SERVES us – We must set goals that are aligned to our IDENTITY and therefore the goals must be focused on something that is:
- Worthwhile to you
- Improve the quality of your life
- Contribute towards your overall happiness
- Be aligned or coherent with your values, beliefs and passions
A goal that is aligned with our IDENTITY makes the task so much easier to maintain. Remember, goals help us create focus, persistence and success.
So that when the going gets tough – the tough (YOU) can get going!
Once we have set the goal we must stop focusing on the outcome. We must the LET IT GO. This may seem a little counter-intuitive but OUR RESULTS ARE NOT TOTALLY IN OUR CONTROL! We can do actions but the Results are never guaranteed.
Importantly, our IDENTITY needs to be the driver that generates the impetus to keep our goals alive. Thus, our first real course of action must be to Commit fully and focus on finding the right systems that will work for us – A tried and tested systems.
If you are addicted to eating, drinking, gambling, etc. then you must find the system that will work for you or alternatively search out a person | organisation that has experienced what you are suffering from and follow their direction taking the actions that has been proven to work consistently.
Invariably those systems will have
- small actions BABY-STEPS because baby-steps make the goal more manageable, it is something that you can do immediately and it allows us to develop habits. Therefore baby-steps makes us happier, lighter and more fulfilled. So, we actually get happier with baby steps not being like the Hare!
- Plan and a means of Monitoring how we action the Plan which allows us to evaluate our success continuously. When we can see that we are at we are getting somewhere and we are no longer stuck this boost our self-esteem. Moreover, when we tick of our boxes and see progress, we get the immediate ‘hit’ of success daily. This in turn builds our self morale and makes us feel more confident and self-assured.
If you like what I have been speaking about and you need some help on goal setting pop me an email listed in front or book yourself in for a discovery call and I will do what ever I can to help you achieve your goal