As we finish putting away everything we didn’t know we needed but bought for Christmas or Hanukkah, we realize that – ZOOM – New Year has come up FAST and, with that, our habit of making New Year resolutions.
Lots of people make New Year resolutions. Many are addicted to making New Year resolutions because they make us feel good…even if only for a few fleeting moments. Also, we engage in this antiquated practice because we really, really… like REALLY want to have them accomplished.
We get excited, even giddy… and start making plans. Then, when we outline our perfect goals, objectives and execution plans, we get more excited still.
Finally, eagerly and impatiently, we wait for Jan. 1 to come so we can start to make things happen. Now THIS will be a really great year!!!
Coming back to Earth from Cloud 9, here are some interesting statistics…
- By the third week in January 65% of the people have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions.
- By February, people will have broken more than 90% of the resolutions they made.
- Only 20% of people maintain the resolutions past Valentine’s Day.
- Overall, somewhere in the vicinity of 97% of New Year’s resolutions won’t be kept.
- Over 70% of people make and break the same resolution year after year.
- Only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
What is it that makes New Year resolutions fail so massively and miserably (No Go)?
And more importantly – what can YOU do to make sure YOUR resolutions become realities in 2017 (Go)?
Here are 6 choices you can make immediately – NOW Resolutions, “no optimistic waiting” until Jan. 1 – to make 2017 a radical, purposeful, and successful Back Forty year.
- No Go: Letting the past bite you in the butt. All of a sudden, the mistakes you’ve made in the past, the disappointments of all the goals you didn’t achieve and the resolutions you didn’t keep descend on you like bees on honey. The fear of failing – worse yet, failing again – rears its ugly head.
Go: Get crystal clear on what did and did not work last year, what “mistakes” you made in the past, and glean everything you can from them. Mistakes = Learning Opportunities…no more, no less. Do it The Back Forty way – use what you have learned to grow your success. Then put the past in the past, so that the road to a successful future is wide open and clear.
- No Go: Most resolutions are set up as things to do, like a laundry list of action items to be ticked off. That makes them dry and uninteresting, pretty much guaranteeing you a prime spot in the statistics mentioned above.
Go: Create your future in an empowering context, a future that enlivens, inspires and lights you on fire. Having a strong, fit, and fabulous body for that vacation on St. Thomas is much more inspiring than working out 3 times a week – don’t you think?
- No Go: For many, New Year resolutions exist as a mental list or collection of post-it notes and scribbles on scraps of paper. In best – case scenarios, they are neatly typed with bulleted and numbered items on a page placed prominently to be seen every day. The bad news is, neither of these work due to either disorganization or disappearance into the woodwork.
Go: What works is having specific structures breaking down your major objectives into goals, plans, and specific measurable results you intend to accomplish, all scheduled in your calendar with specific dates and times. Also important is taking into account and planning for the resources you’ll need to accomplish your goals. (Want to learn to play the piano? Make sure you plan for getting a teacher, instrument to play, time to take lessons and practice, necessary funds, etc.)
- No Go: Most treat their resolutions as wishful thinking or involvement, not as a promise or a commitment. Their goals are something they want, but not something they are committed to doing what it takes to achieve. Herein lies the gigantic difference between your resolutions becoming real or one of the sad statistics.
Go: Get FULLY in the game – not 100%, but 200%. Being committed and making promises – and keeping them – work. Remember Martina Navratilova’s clarity on this: “The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.” Commitment is key to having your second half of life being the best half.
- No Go: It is very easy to break promises, when you only make them to yourself, in the privacy of your own mind and your own calendar. Many people fail with resolutions because they don’t have anyone to account for their keeping their promises and sticking to their plan.
Go: Get an accountability buddy! Someone you talk to every week or every day. Make promises to each other and hold each other accountable for keeping those promises.
- Go: Do all of the above and give it your best shot. You’ll do better than 90% of the human race.
Go: If you are REALLY committed to fulfilling on your New Year resolutions – get a coach. Achieving your resolutions will require you to create brand new habits and practices, and to see yourself in a brand new way. Coaches are experts in supporting you in doing just that, keeping your promises and realizing your goals. In the words of Tom Landry, the legendary Dallas Cowboys football coach, “a coach is someone who makes you do what you don’t want to do so that you can be who you always wanted to be.”