It is that time of year again… Out with the old and in with the new. A time for a fresh start. Time to make a change. I am going to lose 30 pounds! I am going to go to the gym 5 times a week. I am going to give up caffeine and cigarettes. This year will be different!
How many times have you heard these statements? How many times have you made those statements yourself? Do you tend to focus on the “what” not the “how to” of obtaining your goals? Or are you focusing on what you should change, rather than what you want to change? Are you taking ownership of this goal? Statistic Brain Research Institute1 recently did a survey and found that while 41% of Americans usually make a New Year’s resolution, only 8% of people actually achieve their goals.
Why do we fail? Well, firstly, we need to look at the statements or goals we are setting. Are they realistic or unrealistic? Examining if our goals are realistic or not, is where we need to start. If they are not realistic, we are just setting ourselves up for failure. We need to establish smaller, more realistic and attainable goals. By doing this and we build confidence as we achieve this smaller goals, that ultimately, step-by-step, lead us to our reach final goals.
The new year is a time for reflection on last year’s behaviours. This is a time to recognise and accept that you want to make a change in your life. To increase the chances of reaching your goals, only work on one goal at a time. It increases the likelihood of meeting that goal by focusing your efforts, and at the same time, decreasing the chances of becoming overwhelmed, and thus quitting.
Reaching your smaller, attainable goals should not be an absolute either. Again, absolute equals perfection… and perfection is unattainable. Human nature has us focus on the negative and not the positive things in life more easily. So, instead of focusing on the failures, try to reframe the situation. For example, if you say “I only made it to the gym twice this week not four times” that is very negative. Try and reframe it like this “I had a busy week, but I still made it to the gym twice this week. That is still better than not going at all.” See how different that sounds?
If you are finding it difficult to reach your New Years resolutions, or life goals in general, consider professional assistance with achieving your goals. I can help assist in offering strategies and skills that will help you attain your goals. This can be achieved through goal setting, life coaching, counselling, and support.
1- (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2017, from http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/