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Why You’ve Failed Your New Years Resolutions and How You Can Fix It

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stop blaming yourself set your goals

It’s late January and statistics have it that only 8% of people will stick with their New Years resolutions after 30 days.

With most already having quit. Maybe that’s you. And that’s fine. Next year consider making the resolution to never set New Years resolutions.

I see it this way: resolutions are for people who believe that they have one shot to turn their life around, once a year. Goals are for people who know they can turn their life around, every second of every day.

New Years resolutions are often set on the emotional high of the coming year, when all your friends and family can talk about nothing else. The new possibilities, the end of a bad year and the first page of a new book are among some of the clichés. This then becomes near on impossible for us to see our resolutions through because that emotion they were built on dissipates. It’s like building a house on quicksand. We get discouraged and quit, until the next year.

Understand that if you’ve failed don’t wait for a perceived fresh start, instead know that each moment is a new beginning. Every second of your life is a fresh start. Free yourself of the shackles of time. Align yourself in the now. And set goals.

“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years” – Henry Moore

There are many ways to set goals. Over the last 10 years I’ve trialled a few ways and at the moment have found one that works for me. I think that’s the key – works for me. There is no right or wrong approach to goal setting, well, accept not setting any.

 

To get you started here are a few ways:

  1. Write them down with a deadline
  2. Write them down with no deadline
  3. Write them down with no deadline, but with rewards

 

The standard approach to goal setting is to jot down your goals and add deadlines to them. I used this approach for 5 years, with limited success. I found it overwhelming, and when I looked back on the year I realised I had achieved about 2 goals.

The second approach was certainly less stressful however I found that I was even less motivated because their was no time target so I went days, even weeks without thinking about my goals. When you don’t think about them, you don’t work on them.

Then I stumbled on the third approach which I first learned about from Steve Kamb’s reward based goal setting TEDx talk. I now add experience points to my goals like a computer game. When I complete one I add it to my goal table with the date and points. After I get 100 points, my life levels up. It’s a little cheesy, but it’s fun. And on average I complete about 7 goals a year now. But what’s better is I’m incentivised to challenge myself more and put myself out there.

 

Steve Kamb’s Ted Talk on Resetting Your Life

 

It’s all about knowing yourself. You may be someone who thrives on deadlines, and that is awesome. Go set them. If you’re not however consider approach 3, and watch your life transform.

I want to end on this:

Pursuing success is amazing, it gives life meaning. But never forget that the journey is the reward.

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” – Nelson Mandela

To your success,

Stuart

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Stuart Ralph

    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Hey Imran

    Thanks for reading buddy.

    Great to hear goal setting is working for you. Keep it up!

    To your success,
    Stu

  2. Avatar

    Imran Soudagar

    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    To sum up this article in a sentence I can say your advice is Not to set new Resolutions but to set Goals. And I totally agree with you. Over the last so many years I have set hundreds of Resolutions but I failed at most of them. But whenever I have had Goals, I have succeed.

    Thanks buddy for reminding this.

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