I am not a fan of resolutions. I am however a fan of strategic goal planning. Each year tons of people sit down and make this long and ambitious list of all the things they want to do in the upcoming year and very few of them actually do it. My question for you today is have you reached your New Year’s resolutions yet?
Well, it’s July in the year is officially more than halfway over. By now many of us have either given up on those goals, possibly accomplished them or just decided that they weren’t the right goals for us. All of those options are totally normal and totally human but I wanted to talk to you about resolutions during a time where they are probably the furthest thing from your mind to give you some perspective.
Why People Don’t Achieve Their Resolutions
Often the reason people don’t accomplish their resolutions. The thing is resolutions tend to be more lofty goals. You figure I have a year to do this so you may reach for the stars without realizing you need a rocket to get there.
While a year is a long time, it also goes by extremely fast. That’s why you can find yourself in July no closer to your goals than you were in January. If you can’t break down your goals into actionable steps that can realistically accomplish in a year then you may want to rethink the goals.
Here are the main reasons people don’t keep their resolutions.
You don’t schedule the time.
More than likely your resolution has to do with a new activity or skill set so you need to set aside the time to accomplish it. Saying you’re going to take on two new clients a month but not making the time in your schedule isn’t very realistic. You have to set yourself up for success by setting yourself up. If your goal has some sort time requirement, like most do, you need to schedule it into your life and stick to it.
You don’t think of the expense.
Sometimes a goal requires you make an investment. It may be the money you need to hire a coach, obtain a certification, supplies, etc. If you say this year you want to visit 4 states you probably need to figure out how you’re going to pay for gas, flights, room and board. I’m all for trusting the universe but that doesn’t mean just sitting on your ass.
You do it alone.
It can be easy to get off track when the only person expecting you to accomplish your goal is you. It’s sad really but we as humans are way more likely to let ourselves down than others. Depending on the goal it may look like joining a program, getting a coach or just enlisting the support of someone with the same goal or someone with an emotional investment in you, like a friend or a partner.
No plan of action.
You know what you want to do but don’t decide how you’re going to do it. You can’t say, “I’m going to pay off my student loans this year,” and expect that to be enough. Are you going to cut out current expenses? Get a part time job and put that money towards loans only? How are you going to make it happen?
You give up too easily.
It’s February 1st. You said you’d save $500 each month but in January you were only able to say $237 so you give up and decide that’s the best you can do. Even the best plans don’t always equal success right away. Even if you don’t’ accomplish part of it keep trying. After all, you have a year.
How to come back after a failure
Let’s say you have decided to get you fitness coaching certification and start professionally training. That is an excellent goal. You’re an overachiever so you want to do the top package which is $900. Right now you live on an extremely fixed income so you have to figure out how you will pay for it. Let’s assume they offer the courses quarterly, once in March, June, September and December. Your original plan was to save the $900 dollars in January and February and sign up in March. But then life happened, you broke a finger and had to pay medical bills or miss work so you weren’t able to save the money. Instead of saying, “Oh well guess it’s not meant to be.” Figure out how you can save the money and sign up for the June class. Yeah, your schedule has changed but you can still make it happen.
Often the most successful people have had countless setbacks and failures but they are all learning curves. Maybe this way a life lesson, once you save that $900 you can start saving $450 each month to put in an emergency fund so the next time “life happens” you have a nest egg to fall back on.
How You Should Look at Resolutions
To reflect on the things mentioned above you need to do several things when deciding your resolutions or any major goals.
- Make them realistic. I’m not saying shy away from bold moves but make sure they are attainable in the time given. If they don’t maybe break them up into smaller sets to accomplish the bigger task over a longer period of time.
- Figure out how much time you need to accomplish the tasks that make up the goal and plan accordingly.
- Think of any related costs and ways you can pay for them.
- Find support or help. Accountability is a magical thing.
- Create a plan of action and timetable for those actions. Decide what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how you’re going to do it.
- Don’t give up. If you experience a setback don’t call it quits just reevaluate and keep moving forward.
How to gauge your progress on goals
It’s important to gauge and track progress. If you don’t you may not know if you’re working on the right things or not. If you want to lose 5% of body fat what does that look like over time? Set up marketers to check in with so you can tell if your current methods are working or if you need to change them.
Life is short and we are all capable of amazing things. It’s so easy to give up and beat ourselves up but remember if you are bold enough to set goals you are bold enough to make them a reality.
How are your resolutions going? Have you accomplished them or are you still working towards them? If not are you going to give them a second chance and try to make them happen in the second half of the year? Let me know in the comments.