It’s that time of the year again when you contemplate on the past. As you review your plans and goals for the coming new year, a realization struck you. Someway, somehow, you forgot all about last year’s new year resolution. So, what makes this year different?
First of all, let’s understand what a resolution is. By definition, a resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. Did you commit yourself to do and not to do something? Was it a simple yes to this, no to that?
Perhaps that explains why 8 out of 10 people fail to sustain their resolution throughout the year. In other estimates, the failure rate is as high as 9 out of 10.
There are two ways you can look at this depending on your mindset.
Positive. There are 10 to 20 percent chance that you will succeed in keeping with your new year resolution.
Negative. There are 80 to 90 percent chance that you will fail in keeping with your new year resolution.
The reason why I am bringing up the positive and negative way of seeing the same thing is because it plays a role.
Let me put it this way.
Goals can be easy, moderate, hard, or difficult.
A positive mindset conditions your mind to focus on succeeding. By focusing on the chances of success, you use that to fuel your desire to succeed.
But when you start with a negative mindset, whatever the difficulty level of a goal worsens. Instead of conditioning your mind to work on your goal, you find reasons why the goal is difficult.
In other words, a negative mindset is a factory manufacturing all kinds of excuses. All you have to do is pick one reason why you failed before even failing.
The Importance of Setting a New Year Resolution
In times of difficulty, you sometimes tell yourself that better times are coming. Blessed are you if you have family or friends dispensing the same advice. And that is because you have a support system. For that, you should be grateful.
After a rough day, you look forward to a brand-new day, a better day. And that is good because you have hope.
A new year resolution is like that too. It sets the tone for the whole year.
Think of a new year resolution as a long-term goal. And more important than having one, it is succeeding in keeping one.
Come to think of it. You do have all those grand plans and designs for a better life. But can you achieve your dreams if you cannot keep up with only a year of resolution?
The reason why we look at the past year and beyond is to see where we were and where we want to go to.
Life is a journey that never stops. It’s just a matter of picking the destination. And wherever your destination is, there could be one or more paths you could take.
But what is it that keeps you on the right path?
For most people, a new year resolution is a destination. For example, you may wish for better health or financial stability. Those are great resolutions.
And as great as they are, why do a lot of people stumble? If the new year resolution is important, then why is it that up to 9 out of 10 people fail to keep up with it?
Could it be it’s because a lot of people focused on the wrong new year resolution?
It’s the Attitude
Let’s say you set a new year resolution to wake up early in the morning. For you to set waking up early as a resolution means you are a habitual late sleeper.
And so, at the beginning of the year, that is what you do. At exactly 6am on January 1, you are up. Never mind the fact that you slept hours after celebrating New Year’s Eve.
So, for the next several days, that is what you tried to do. And to help you do just that, you set up the alarm on all devices you own.
Can you keep it up for one year and beyond?
Let me tell you how the 1 or 2 out of 10 would do it.
Setting an alarm is the right thing to do. But beyond that, they would make a commitment to sleep earlier. And if they have issues with sleeping, then they would seek medical help.
In other words, they will remove the reasons why they sleep late.
A new year resolution is about change. How can you change something without addressing the cause?
It’s in the Planning
A lot of people would like to have a better lifestyle or financial status. Again, those are great long-term goals or destination.
So, which road should you take?
The roads, in this case, are the different things you can or need to do. For you to succeed in your long-term goals, you need to have a full understanding.
Failure to plan is planning to fail.
So, once you have a full understanding of your destination, it’s time to create a set of actions. These are the things you do throughout the year.
Let me try to explain this idea by giving you an example.
Let’s say you want to lose 35 lbs in the new year. Do you understand the science behind weight loss? Have you thought of the type of weight management you will use? Do you realize the things you need to do in order for you to achieve your goal? Have you created a timetable for you to follow?
Since I have chosen weight loss as a sample, know that you are not to lose more than 4 lbs every week. Losing more may increase the risk of health concerns in the future.
Losing 35 lbs in one year is like losing 0.7 to 0.8 lbs every week for the whole year. At 4.4 lbs per week, it would take 8 weeks or 2 months only. Small and manageable goals leads to achieving a long-term (or complex) goal.
So, planning is important, as well as knowing the actions that you need to take. Breaking down a year of goal into small parts makes it easier to achieve.
Can You Keep Up with Your New Year Resolution?
It depends on how committed you are. It takes an incredible amount of willpower to sustain your new year resolution.
But in this post, what I have shown you is another way to look at keeping up with your new year resolution.
Sure, you need to focus and act on the thing you need to do. But before you do that, adopt the positive attitude first and focus on habits.
Because the right habits make the commitment become routine.