Why your New Year’s Resolution fails you|…Like, every year.

Tell me, reader, why is it that we make impossible New Year’s goals, that we know we will fail at? I think it’s because we get obsessed with goal setting rather than goal reaching. Goal setting is what happens when twenty people say, “So what are YOUR New Year’s resolutions?” and we think, “hmmm, what should I resolve to do” ?

But now, Goal Reaching is different; It works like this…”what do I want to accomplish by the end of this year?” That’s goal reaching.

Now, take that year-end goal, and break it down. Season by season. Month by month. Week by week. Day by day.

Now here’s the deal. If you didn’t come up with some flaky resolution that sounded good, you will take the time to plan this goal out, because it’s what you really want to accomplish (not what sounds good to everyone).

Here are some “Reach your New Year’s Resolutions”  posts from last year which really dive deep into the whole psychology of setting New Years goals that get met.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

The secret to success….segmenting (read the full post here)

How to break (or start) any bad habit in three weeks, max

Dislaimer: If you are suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or if you are suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, then you may find this advice incomplete for your needs. It’s my moral obligation to encourage you to get professional help for these things.

Okay, we’ve all read the reports from articles like “Psychology today” that tell us it takes exactly 21 days to form a new habit. But the truth is, very few people actually do anything for 21 days perfectly. So maybe you want to get in the habit of not biting your finger nails. Well, that is a poor habit to try this with, because that deals with not doing something moment by moment. Someone who bites their nails, or curses, or interrupts, will have to monitor their behavior moment by moment, and it may be very hard to track.  So this exercise I am going to give you must be applied to a habit that is trackable on a daily basis….and not on something that you can’t track unless you monitor it ALL Day.

Quick note: smoking is an addiction. My father hyperventilated when he tried to quit cold turkey and they called an ambulance. My husband cried in  a restaurant after going all day without a cigarette (I said I wouldn’t marry him unless he quit smoking). And I have personally witnessed loved ones act like living brain donors when they didn’t taper off cigarettes slowly. Please treat smoking like the physical addiction that it is. You can be treated medically to quit smoking.

But now, let’s talk about what this exercise will work on. If you

  • Want to start an exercise routine that you do each day
  • Want to get in the habit of journaling every day
  • Want to practice learning a foreign language every day
  • Want to learn how to master playing a musical instruments

than these are goals that you can do every day.  Just make sure you choose a goal that is:

a definite, specific goal:

Something that is measurable, not vague

an actual daily goal:

So, again, getting slim by the end of this year is not a measurable, daily goal

an achievable goal:

something that you can definitely achieve on each of these 21 days. If you make the goal too difficult, then you will most certainly not finish the 3 week time period; you’ll just…quit 😦

It’s more important to set a goal that you know you will reach. For example, with nail biting, set a goal of not biting your nails between 12 and 1 oclock each day (that’s a trackable daily goal), and then ask your friends to monitor your beahavior during your lunch break (believe me, other people will love being asked to hold you accountable for something). After 21 days, you should find that you are no longer biting your nails during lunch time. Then, go for supper time the next 21 day period. You don’t want to give yourself too many habits to form or break during each 21 day period.

Just in case you don’t know, 21 days is that length of time which has been medically proven to cause a habit to “stick”. In other words if you can do or not do something for 3 weeks straight, then you can develop or break any habit–in theory. The reality though, is, with a bad habit, you may need to reinforce the 21 day exercise after several months. That’s because, it’s easier to form a habit than to delete a long held habit

The Rock Solid New Year’s Resolution

Here’s the only New Year’s resolution I have ever seen work, and I want to share it with  you….resolve to give yourself ONE FULL MONTH to come up with systems that actually work.

You don’t want to have a New Year filled with failure. But come on reader, don’t  you know, you set yourself up for that every single year? New Year’s resolutions are just things that you resolve to do in the New Year. They aren’t things you resolve to do perfectly every time. I wrote about this extensively in last year’s article.

This year, set yourself up for success. Give yourself ONE FULL YEAR to develop systems that work. Determine what your year end goal is, and then take one month (January) to break those year end goals down into smaller goals.

Wednesday, read my article on How To Start Your New Year right.

Why you Procrastinate

 

 

The Main reason you procrastinate is:

You don’t really want to do it

or, you don’t want to do it bad bad enough to do what it takes

Okay, this is obvious; I even spoke about it in last month’s post: People don’t procrastinate doing things that they really want to do, and we all get that. But what are the reasons for this? Let’s get specific:

You are scared

Yes, that’s the main reason people procrastinate. Fear. To be sure, some people procrastinate out of apathy. Or maybe, they aren’t really procrastinating. Some people just act like they are going to do something someday, when they really have no intention of doing it. But what I’d like to talk about in this particular post is those of us who really WOULD like to see something through, and we know that it’s what we want. But for some reason, we hold back.

Why would we do that? Why would we not charge forward to that thing that we know we want?

I think the answer is very simple: we go where our sweet spot is. If we felt good about doing it, we would. But sometimes, even though in our hearts, we know we would love to see something accomplished, there is something holding us back. And usually, for most of us, it’s fear. Fear of, of what? Well maybe the fear is:

  • Of not completing the task
  • Of not doing a good enough job
  • Of receiving criticism
  • Of the unknown
  • Of the opinion of others
  • Of people
  • Of pressure
  • Of commitment
  • Of doing the task
  • Something else involved in the process of doing it

I realize that there are many ways and reasons of procrastinating and that fear is just one of them. Still, it’s too big of a reason not to devote a post to.

Now, if none of these seem to be the reason, yet for some reason,  you feel fear when proceeding with your New Year’s resolution or any task, hang on—

Next week, I’ll be talking about a hidden fear that avoids detection, and how to move forward.