If you’re like 80% of people you’ve given up on your New Year’s resolutions by now. But chances are, you’ve been going about things all wrong! We all make the same mistakes when it comes to our resolutions, so I wanted to release this episode now so you can still make 2019 your best year ever!
In this episode, I teamed up with local high performance and leadership experts Derek Deprey and Joe Sweeney. Derek Deprey is the director of people at the WAC and author of Shift: Move from Frustrated to Fulfilled. Joe Sweeney is a New York Times best-selling author, Brett Favre’s former agent, and strategic advisor at Corporate Financial Advisors.
First, let’s look at where people go wrong. These apply not just for New Years resolutions, but for goal-setting in general:
1. People don’t have a strong enough "why."
This is where most people fail from the start, because simply put: achieving goals is not easy. It’s a lot of boring, painful work with little immediate gratification. So when the going gets tough and tedious, if you don’t have a strong reason why, you’ll likely give up when trying to accomplish something big.
Let’s take weight loss, for example. There’s a big difference between "I want to lose weight because it’d be nice to have a thinner waistline" and "I need to lose weight because my brother has heart problems, and my doctor said I am on the same path if I don’t commit to a healthier lifestyle."
If you are struggling to find your big reason, simply ask yourself, "Why?" five times. Why do you want to lose 20 pounds? Why? Why? Why? Why? At this point, you’ll find out if you have a strong reason that’s worth pursuing.
2. People choose a goal they’re not passionate about.
A lot of people set goals to please their parents, peers, or to impress others on social media without putting thought into what they actually want. If you aren’t passionate and pursuing something for yourself, a few things can happen. You’ll burn out easier, it will be more difficult, and it may not even have a sense of accomplishment when you finally finish. Figure out what you want—not what someone else wants for you – and go after it!
3. People fail to optimize their environment.
You’ve surely heard this idiom: you become the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most.
There’s truth to it, and I would apply this to everything you surround yourself with – not just the people. Environment will play a huge factor in whether or not you succeed or fail. If you’re trying to quit drinking and you have a fridge full of beer at home, it’s going to be difficult.
If you’re trying to lose weight and your closest friends eat unhealthily, it’s going to be tough. If you are trying to be happier and your co-workers are negative people, you should probably look for a new job, and so on.
4. People try to do too much at once.
Making a drastic change is very difficult; instead, break your goals down and try to implement one positive habit (or eliminate one negative one) every week and build over time. You will have a much higher chance of success opposed to changing your whole lifestyle overnight.
After outlining how we can fail to complete our resolutions, they suggest some strategies for how we can follow through:
1. Have a great morning and evening routine.
Derek, Joe and I all agreed that your routines first thing in the morning and just before bed is key. A lot happens to all of us during the day, most of which is out of our control. But, we have full control over what we do before we go to bed and what we do when we first wake up. These two times can put us in a great position to win the day. (We go in-depth on this in the episode, so listen in to hear more!)
2. Break your goals down and try to set habit goals over accomplishments.
Sometimes when you have big goals, it’s hard to trust the little daily habits that are ultimately going to get you there. While having big dreams and a long term vision is great, focus on reverse engineering into smaller goals. Focus on the daily habits that will get you there. Set achievable milestones every week. Trust the process.
3. Remembering our first point on why goals fail, you need to make sure you have a strong "why" and make sure it is your own "why" – not something you’re doing for your parents, peers, or to impress others.
4. Optimize your environment.
Surround yourself with great people who have accomplished what you want to, surround yourself with healthy food, positive content, etc.
We have a limited amount of willpower, so resisting temptation is much easier when it’s not right in front of us.
5. Have an accountability partner or partners.
Humans are wired to do more for others than we will do for ourselves. We don’t like letting others down. Have someone you check in with once a week to keep you on track. Post your goals on social media, if that’s something that works for you. Just make sure you are accountable to something more than yourself.
Last, I’d like to give a big thank you to Joe and Derek for coming on the show. The full episode is packed with tactics and advice, and is more in-depth than this article. If there are any topics you’d like us to cover in the future, please email email@example.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
For more GoGedders episodes visit: ggmm.io/the-gogedders-podcast.