So here we are in a brand new year and just like every other new year, the advice about setting New Years Resolutions is rife – and yet, the reality is that New Years Resolutions don’t work.
It is widely reported that 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after just ONE week and that 50 percent fail within six months.
Why would you want to join this statistic?
Assuming that you want to see different results from 2015, then we recommend that you abandon the whole News Years Resolutions thing and instead do what HAS been proven to work:
Set Some New Year Goals!
It has been shown time and time again that people who set goals achieve more than those who don’t and so as it’s the beginning of a whole new year, why not set some New Year Goals?
Follow these four steps to creating New Year Goals that Actually Work!
1) Frame Them Positively
Make sure that your goals are about what you WANT and not what you don’t want.
In my experience, one of the reasons people fail to stick to their New Year Resolutions is that their focus is on ‘stopping’ doing something or ‘avoiding’ a certain outcome. The problem with this is that when you focus on the thing you don’t want, even with the intention of avoiding it, your mind doesn’t know that your intention is to avoid it, all it knows is that that is where you are directing it and so your thoughts, feelings and behaviours become aligned with the very thing you want to avoid.
Carl Jung described this perfectly when he said: ”What you resist persists”. In order to resist something, you have to focus on it, and you get what you focus on, so focus on the desired outcome or behaviour rather than the undesired version.
For instance your goal isn’t to STOP procrastinating – your goal is to be 50% more productive.
Your goal isn’t to work with LESS of a particular type of client – your goal is to work with twice as many of another type of client.
Your goal isn’t to NOT have to worry about making the payroll every month – your goal is to trigger the payroll a day or two earlier than necessary – because you can!
2) Define The Benefits
Get clear about why your goals are so important to YOU.
Often people set New Years Resolutions only to discover later (once they’ve failed to stick to them) that their resolution was based on the expectations of others. It is completely pointless setting goals based on outcomes and behaviours that you don’t genuinely desire for yourself.
You might do your best to stick to them, but even if you manage it (which is unlikely!), you will fail to make the changes that are actually important to YOU and so you are unlikely to feel a sense of achievement or to be happy with the result.
Your path to genuine success is one that is based on what you truly want for yourself, so, before you commit to a goal, get really clear about how achieving that goal will benefit YOU.
3) Document Them
Commit your goals to writing.
Most people don’t bother to write down their goals and instead they just let life happen to them and then wonder why their life lacks meaning and purpose. The secret to achieving your goals is to write them down and this is important for many reasons.
Firstly, it forces you to clarify the outcome you want which means that it forces you to be specific about what things look like when you’ve achieved your goal.
Secondly, having your goals documented means that they exist in some form other than in your imagination and so your subconscious mind (the part of your mind that is responsible for your behaviour) starts to direct your behaviour to that which is conducive to making them reality. In other words, it motivates you to take action!
And lastly, writing your goals down enables you to stay on track as they provide a set of milestones to reach and in effect they provide a set of guidelines with which to assess other opportunities and to celebrate successes.
4) Implement Accountability Measures
Leverage the power of external accountability by giving someone else permission to kick your butt!
Even when you have goals that are focused on what you want rather than what you don’t want and your goals are based on outcomes that deliver benefits to you that you truly desire… And even when you have documented those goals in such a way that you are inspired and motivated to take action and that provide you with guidelines to keep you on track, guess what?
You are still a human being! You still have the potential to fall off track and so you still need Accountability Measures to ensure that you don’t.
I have achieved a lot in my life and I have been involved in coaching and supporting others to achieve a lot in theirs too. What I have observed is that when someone has an invested interest in someone else’s success to the extent that they will actively seek to see them achieve it, the other person achieves more and faster.
So, if you truly want to reach your goals for 2015, then share them with others.
Sharing your goals gives you the accountability you need to follow through because no-one wants to be the person that doesn’t do what they say they will.
And if you really want to leverage the power of accountability, then do what I do – give that other person (and preferably, a group of them!) permission to kick your butt if necessary to make sure you achieve it. You’ll be so glad that you did!