There are so many people I know who make New Year resolutions but so few who stick to them three months later. Why is it that with all good intentions we cannot keep the promises we make to ourselves? How can we improve our chances of being successful in seeing our decisions through?
First of all, ask yourself these questions: How important is my goal to me? Does it really matter? What will it mean for me if I really achieved this goal? Your reasons are important. In order to be successful, you must be committed to your goal. Without commitment, it will be easy to skip doing what is necessary to achieve your goal. Without commitment life will get in the way because there are always things that compete for priorities in our lives, wether it is our work, the need to rest or social gatherings. However, if you are really committed to your goal, you will do what it takes to achieve it. Let's take one of my friends. He decided to go to gym five days a week last year. He gave up after 3 weeks. It was hard work, it was taking a lot of time and he didn't know what his purpose of exercising was. However another friend of mine last year decided to achieve a certain income in her network marketing business. She was doing it to give her children a better life, a life full of adventures and opportunities. She succeeded because she had a strong purpose. Was it easy? No, it wasn't. She made sacrifices, she struggled but she kept going.
Sometimes we do not achieve our goals because we are afraid of success. Once we succeed in our endeavours, things will change, life will be different. Perhaps we will lose the opportunity to have sympathy of other people. When we try, yet not succeed, we talk about it to others. People we talk to often do not achieve their goals either. This means wee have something in common, we offer each other understanding. If we succeed and they don't, we are different. We may also lose a way of life we have grown accustomed to. Perhaps we will no longer be able to watch this late night film as we need to get up earlier or we may even lose a friendship because all we had in common was drinking in a pub after work. As a result we sabotage our goal achievement. One of my clients, lets call him Peter, spent a few years sabotaging his promotion. He wanted this promotion but when we explored his reasons for not yet getting there, he realised that he would have to travel a lot. This was a problem for him because, although he liked travelling, he didn't know how his family would react. It never occurred to him to discuss it with his family. Once he did, the family supported him in his decision. They made a few arrangements for things to work smoothly while he was away and he is happy in his new role now. If you suspect that there is something that has been stopping you from achievement, think it over carefully. Find a solution to overcome the obstacle, find something else you have in common with the people you spend time with. Actually the next step is just what may help.
Buddy up! Yes, it is hard when you are trying to achieve a great goal all by yourself. Buddy up with someone. Perhaps your friend also wants to lose weight. Perhaps your children spend too much time in front of the computer and trampolining outside or playing football with them kills two birds with one stone: you get to exercise and spend time with the family. When you take action to achieve your goal with another person, it is not only more enjoyable but you also create the feeling of accountability, which motivates you to persist when you feel like quitting.
The next thing to remember is to create time and space for your goal achievement. What I mean by that is that you do not leave it to chance when you take action. Plan when you are going to do what it takes to achieve your goal and arrange your environment to increase the chances of success. I personally struggled to exercise for many years. I would have all the commitment for two weeks but when the times got tougher, I was too tired, I would just give it up. Now I have been exercising for over two years almost every day. What did I change? Instead of exercising in the evening, I get up 30 minutes earlier to exercise in the morning. No excuses that I'm tired or don't have time. This was all that was needed. A client of mine discovered that what gave him the best chances to succeed was to go to the gym straight after work. Another client discovered that she would lose weight if she had only healthy food to eat so she stopped buying junk food and sweets and she now only stocks up with healthy options and she is losing weight. Increase your chances of success by planning.
Life does get in the way. It is important to realise that. You will miss out that training session, you will reach out for chocolate and you will skip that lunch break that you promised yourself to never skip again. So what? It is not the end of the world. Don't fall into the trap of giving up when you fall. Just get up, start over. Perhaps you need that treat of chocolate once a fortnight, perhaps Sunday morning is the day you give yourself permission to stay in your pyjamas till noon. Treat yourself gently. Reward yourself for success rather than punish yourself for failure. The real failure is when you give up. Every day can be a new beginning. Keep going and once it becomes a habit, you will not have to force yourself any more.
So, now it is time to make your resolutions. Be wise. Choose carefully and plan for your achievement. Good luck!