It’s the last day in 2016 and many people have forgotten, tossed out or simply quit their New Year Resolutions. Did you do either of those three? If you did which of those three actions did you take and why did you do so? What would you be willing to do to stop this cycle of failure?
According to the Marist Poll Americans are going to make New Year resolutions in 2017. “44% of Americans, up from 39% last year, say they are either very likely or likely to do so. A majority, 56%, report they are not likely at all to make a change.” I personally do not make New Year Resolutions. In order to meet my New Year’s plans and goals. I changed the way I viewed them. I now view them as Progressive Life Changes. This is the key to me keeping my resolutions. I hope it will inspire you to find your own method for keeping your new year resolutions.
CHANGING THE WAY I VIEW NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
My reasons for viewing my New Year Resolutions as Progressive Life Changes is because I wanted to stop failing. Every year it was a cycle of disappointment and confidence crushing failure. When I changed the way I saw them I was able to construct a foundation that was solid. This foundation is dependent on me always moving forward to effect positive growth and change in my life.
By focusing on Progressive Life Changes I was able to set a five-year plan which mapped out a purposeful route. My plans and goals are heavily reliant on my five-year plan. This fact propels me to take meaningful, achievable and highly focused action.
WHY CREATE A FIVE YEAR PLAN?
I desperately wanted to improve myself and to be successful in my life. Failing year after year made me feel powerless. I wanted my power back! The fact is my whole life up until I created my five-year plan; I had felt powerless. I had no real direction and a vague idea of what I wanted my life to be. One year I had finally had enough and I decided that change was going to happen for the better, even if it killed me. Guess what? It didn’t kill me. Instead, it challenged me, often took me out of my comfort zone and it made me stronger.
Creating a five-year plan give me long term goals that were not too far off in the future. Since five years weren’t too far away it allowed me to have a vision of the near future. I then created a two-year plan from my five-year plan, which made it even more realistic for me to reach my goals. Finally, from my two-year plan I created a one-year plan and that give me my short term goals. I was then able to set daily, weekly and monthly goals that were time sensitive and attainable. Below is my YouTube video in which I share more about that process.
WHY I’M ABLE TO STAY ON TRACK
Why am I able to keep my new year resolutions while others fail at theirs? This is because of having my five-year plan. It’s a critical part of my yearly success. I review it quarterly to make sure I’m on track and to keep it updated. This creates a sense of urgency, excitement, and accomplishment; which is very addictive.
Every new year is a continuation of what I’ve started working on in the previous year. Using this approach solidifies my commitment to my short term and long term goals. If you choose to make your own five-year plan this article by Jeffrey Baumgartner titled, “How to Make Your Five Year Plan” could be a very helpful guide.
CREATE YOUR OWN METHOD
The method above is how I chose to approach the problems and challenges I faced in keeping my resolutions. It took me time to get to a five-year plan that I was happy with. But it was totally worth the years spent getting to know and understand me. The five-year plan I have now has matured a lot from when I first made it because I’ve matured. It’s been a process of trial and error but again totally worth it. My plan keeps evolving as I do. There’s a quote by Cyril Cusack, which sums up self-discovery perfectly, “If you asked me for my New Year resolution it would be to find out who I am.”
To make keeping your new year resolutions easier, create your own method. A method you create should fit who you are. It should also fit who you would like to be and the life you would like to live. Always keep in mind that you are a unique individual and that your method should fit your personality and your values; not the other way around. You can create one from scratch or string together different ideas by choosing those which fits you, your goals and your desired results.
Start with small achievable goals. Be consistent and stay committed to your course of action; no matter what happens. Remember, always stay true to yourself with whatever method you choose to aid you in meeting and keeping your goals. In the end, your success will be dependent on you developing skills that are lasting, positive and progressive.
In 2016 72% of people were successful at achieving their new year resolutions. That’s according to Marist Poll. Also 24% of people who make new year’s resolutions, “never succeed and fail on their resolutions each year.” But if you do make new year resolutions don’t stop making them or get discouraged, why? According to statisticbrain.com, “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” I believe the key is knowing you, you being consistent as well as finding creative ways and solutions to accomplish your goals.
THE TOP 2017 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS
- Being a better person
- Lose weight
- Exercise More
- Spending less and saving more
- Improving one’s Health
- Eating healthier (source: Marist Poll)
Most likely your new year resolution is on that list. If isn’t, no problem and congratulations you’re not in the majority club. That’s not a bad thing at all. The statistics for those who kept their New Year Resolutions in 2016 are as follows. “Of those who made a 2016 resolution, 68% said they kept at least part of their promise. 32% did not. The proportion of those who said they stuck to it is up slightly from the previous year, 64%, and is at its highest since 2013 when 72% reported they stuck with their Resolution.” Quote taken from Marist Poll.
THE IMPORTANCE OF VISUALIZATION
Having a long term vision of your future self and your future lifestyle; helps you create a clear vision of who you want to be and the life you want to live. It will also help you to get into the 72% group. Visualize yourself succeeding and being among the 72%. When you use visualization you’re more likely to keep your goals in the new year. Alan Richardson an Australian psychologist conducted an experiment which proved that visualization works.
If you’re determined and committed to creating lasting change in your life. It is attainable. It’s not easy and there are no quick fixes but if you’re willing to put the time and work in, it’s possible. The internet is a rich source of information, ideas and methods, which can be tailored to fit your personality, your lifestyle, and your goals.
The University of Virginia has a PDF on a goal achieving method I find extremely effective. It’s titled, “Writing S.M.A.R.T. Goals.” I want to stress that it’s very important to be patient, encouraging and kind to yourself. During this entire process. Using visualization will help, motivate and propel you into positive forward momentum.
THE TAKE AWAY
Take the time to get to know and understand who you are and what you want for your life. This is an important step you should not skip. This step combined with all the other steps I have mentioned above will aid you in keeping your new year resolutions. Again, when you put the time and the work in. You will be rewarded with the success you envision for yourself and for your life. I pray for your success.