Little bit dated now, but this really isn’t about New Year’s. It’s about goal setting generally.
The hope of a new year is upon us. Almost time to start that new diet (again), hit the gym (again), look for that new job, and on and on. Unfortunately, New Year’s resolutions are generally nothing more than lies we tell ourselves each year.
Statistics tell us the truth. They say only 25% of individuals stay with their plan for 30 days. Only 8% actually achieve their goals.
The low success rate is simple. Most of us set goals that we don’t really care about – not for real. The idea of getting healthier, getting a better job, improving (fill in the blank), or learning something new sounds great, but if we are honest, we would realize we don’t really care about those goals. If we did care, we would do something. We would take action. We would find a way to make progress most days. Unfortunately, doing nothing is always easier than doing something.
There is certainly a percent of people that fail because they set goals far too ambitious and become discouraged very quickly because they don’t see results as fast as they like. This is hard because culture tells us we need to see results fast or you are doing something wrong. This is especially true with fitness and weight loss. It’s amazing how many fitness plans and diets can make you look like a model in 30 days.
It is very important we step back and realize that anything that matters will take time to achieve. Equally important, the change we are looking to make needs to stick and become a part of who we are. It needs to last.
This is where honesty becomes very important. First, you have to be realistic with the time you are willing to give (notice I didn’t say the time you have). For example, if you want to get in better shape and you know you will only work out three days a week, don’t set a plan to workout five days a week. You want to set goals that will push you yet are achievable.
The second piece of this is prioritization. You have to prioritize whatever is going to help you achieve your goals. If you don’t, you won’t see results, and more than likely, you will see negative results. No results or negative results lead to discouragement, which leads to less effort or quitting, and falling further behind where you want to be. It’s a vicious cycle.
Before you set your goals for the year (regardless of when you do it), look in the mirror and really think about what you care about. Only you will know what you want and what you are willing to work for. If you aren’t honest with yourself, you are simply wasting your time setting goals.
Once you figure out what you want, Do Something! Do Anything! One step at a time, one day at a time.
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