2019 is just eight weeks old and many people have already given up on their New Year resolutions…it’s always the same, every year!
You know this, right?
We start out with good intentions, but ultimately our routine proves to be stronger than our willpower. Whatever good intentions we had at the start of the year – whether it’s going to the gym, eating more healthy food, quitting cigarettes or alcohol, or finally starting with that side hustle -, the majority of people just aren’t serious about their goals, if they have any to begin with!
According to a U.S. News article, a stunning 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, and more fail as the year progresses. Changing your habits can be one of the hardest things to do in life, but fortunately there are strategies you can use that dramatically increase your success rate of following through.
Whether you worry about your New Year’s resolutions or are generally concerned about some of your habits, here’s what you can do to form new habits and rid yourself of nasty old ones that hold you back.
1. Set Smart Goals
New Year’s resolutions often fail because they are unspecific and we aren’t really serious about them (because we make them up as we go).
Instead of New Year’s resolutions, however, you have a much better success rate of following through if you set smart goals.
Smart goals are clearly defined goals whose progress you can track. Instead of saying you want to lose weight, quantify how much weight you want to lose or what your target weight is. Instead of saying you want to start a side hustle (which is an insincere, unspecified goal), lay out a series of concrete steps you need to follow in order to get your side gig actually going.
2. Commit To Your Goals In Writing
If you write down your goals, you are 42 percent more likely to reach your goals.
That is staggering, and you should use it to your advantage.
Write down your (smart) goals on a blank sheet of paper and keep it on your desk, or attach the paper to your bathroom mirror where you will see it in the morning. This will increase your commitment level and motivate you to follow through with specific steps each day.
3. Be Patient
As a rule of thumb, it takes 21 days to break a habit.
Habits aren’t broken easily, for good reason: They are habits because we have become used to doing things a certain way. Changing takes time, and we are often our own worst enemy. Give yourself the time you need in order to develop new habits. Change is hard, but it can be done with the right amount of self-discipline and commitment to personal improvement.
4. Seek Advice
Never be ashamed to seek advice from people that have already gone where you want to be going. Don’t let false pride stand in your way.
If you have the chance, seek mentoring and advice from people that are more successful than you, that have accomplished bigger things in life than you. Are there any people that you admire, look up to? Ask them for a coffee and don’t be shy to ask for advice.
Don’t confuse New Year resolutions with actual goal setting. New Year’s resolutions are born in the moment and don’t carry much significance. Instead, set actual smart goals that are specific and that you are serious about. Write down your goals and follow through with massive action. Work hard, but don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t work out.