You know the drill. The new year is coming. Gotta get ready for it!
In this guide, I will show you how to write a new year’s resolution list and actually stick with it!
Let’s make this year, the year you make your dreams come true!
Table of Contents
- 1 Your time is now
- 2 How to fix this
- 3 Consistency and Commitment
- 4 Stay committed
- 5 Number of items
- 6 How to fix this: Prioritize!
- 7 Do not underestimate the time and effort required
- 8 Be precise when choosing a goal
- 9 Expect things to not be easy and Stay motivated
Your time is now
First get excited! Think about all the things that you failed to do all these other years and fantasize: “How cool would it be if I did ‘that’! And don’t forget ‘this’ too!! Man, I also want to do ‘this’ as well!”
Think and then write everything down!
Done! By now, you should have an awesome list which you will check until the new year begins and then… watch your list gather dust and your excitement dissipate as you go through the year and never get anything on your list done.
Does that sound familiar? This is another problem that happens every time the new year comes closer. People panic. You suddenly realize that another year has passed and you failed to work on your dreams. But there is a reason that this happens.
It’s because it only hits us when that times arrives! And the rest of the year we get absorbed in other stuff, some of which are trivial (Facebook, celebrity gossip) and/or not-so trivial (worrying about taxes, work and the house etc.).
Then why do we still insist on making a list?
Hope. We always hope that this year will be different and we will turn over a new leaf and actually commit to our list. But it never happens, because of all the distractions.
How to fix this
If you are reading this, you must be tired of letting yourself down and telling yourself that this year you will surely make it!.
Break this vicious cycle. Let’s see how.
Consistency and Commitment
You need to understand one thing: A new year’s resolution list does not last a day. It lasts a year (hence the name). If you want to accomplish anything, you need to be excited, motivated and committed to it year-round. It needs to become a healthy obsession.
How I do it
I have been able to get all the items on my list, almost every year for the last 10 years because of my healthy obsession. When I put an item on a list, it stays on my radar forever. By the time the year is coming to a close, I will be just checking things off my list.
Here’s a couple of tips in order to make it a part of your day to day in order for it to become a habit/obsession.
- Separate your goals into short-term and long term.
- If you have to, split the long term into smaller chunks that can be short-term.
- Then write it down somewhere obvious (planner, visual board etc).
- Make it part of your morning ritual to check your short-term goals.
- Check your long term goals every day/week/month (where applicable).
- Use reminders to make sure they stay on your radar.
You must keep working on your list every day for a year. If you do one small thing every day for 1 item on your list, 365 days later, you will AT LEAST get half of the items on your list checked off.
A small step may sound un-important but sometimes it’s all it takes to get you where you want to go. Take that small step and before you know it, you have reached the end goal and your list will be cleared of all items.
Speaking of items…
Number of items
How many items do you actually have on your list? Perhaps you are over-enthusiastic, or maybe you thought that the sun is going change course this year and every day will have 240 hours instead of 24.
Because some people think they are invincible. Just because they got excited, they think anything is feasible and the list will magically grant its owner anything he or she writes on it. Wrong.
One of the biggest mistakes people make each year is putting too many things on their list. It took me years to figure this one out and I am hoping to save you a lot of time by mentioning it here.
How to fix this: Prioritize!
In order to make sure that this does not happen to you do the following:
Write down your list of items.
Then prioritize them based on how badly you need them.
After that, you will need to re-prioritize them based on how long it will take for you to get them.
Let’s look at 3 of the most common goals:
- The perfect body,
- The perfect house
- Going on a trip of a lifetime.
(Or examples could be finding the perfect partner or job but let’s try the above three for now)
The one thing that these 3 have in common is that they will all take time and effort to fulfill.
How would you prioritize them?
Some would say, “let’s keep no1 at the top spot since it’s the easiest (after all how hard would it be to lose 10 kilos and look like Hugh Jackman or Jessica Biel?) then I’ll put the trip at no2 and the house at no3”.
Let’s look at the actual problems with this approach:
If you have external dependencies that prevent you from reaching your goals and you prioritize them in a wrong way, you will sabotage more than 1 goal. For example, if you first want the perfect body before you go on the perfect trip and you haven’t estimated the appropriate time required for meeting your body goals, then both your items will crash and burn. In order to avoid that Avoid having CO-DEPENDENT GOALS!
It is important to have each item on your list as independent as possible.
Now let’s take the body goals example a bit further:
Do not underestimate the time and effort required
Another common mistake that people make is that they underestimate the time required for reaching a specific target. When it comes to any transformation program or body goal you would need a MINIMUM of 6 months and that’s excluding any obstacles, injuries, and anything else that life throws in your way.
So also make sure to plan with enough time for some damage control in the middle. I would say 1 year for something very minimal such as gaining 5-10 kilos of muscle mass or permanently losing 5 to 10 kilos of fat.
Also, in order for you to achieve such a goal, you must be so committed that you would have to change your entire lifestyle in order to help you reach such a goal. People think that they can go out partying and be lazy and not workout and eating whatever they want just because they bought the x-supplement endorsed by the guy or girl who spends half their day in the gym and is probably on steroids.
Be precise when choosing a goal
If you don’t know exactly what you want, how can you achieve it? It’s like putting ‘somewhere’ on your GPS. A travel to somewhere, will get you to the land of nowhere.
Some goals may take longer than others and sometimes they are not achievable in one year’s time. That’s normal. So choose your goals wisely. Don’t expect to get the perfect body in a year (unless you go live in a Shaolin monastery for a year) but you can expect to make some serious progress during that time, if you choose your goals wisely.
Focus on lifestyle changes and removing bad habits such as quitting smoking, drinking, too much partying and anything that can and will get in the way of your goals.
You can also focus on internal goals too. Things like facing your fears and working on making yourself better, stronger or smarter. Read a book on a subject that you always wanted or try something new that will make your life better.
Here’s a trick you can use to be more precise
Instead of putting a generic rule such as ‘get in better shape’ or ‘start yoga classes’, put in:
‘do X amount of pushups and X squats in one go’ and ‘do 100 yoga classes or 1 hour weight lifting sessions’.
100 sessions in one year period means at least 2 sessions per week. Sounds achievable right? So what success rate do you think that people with this goal have on average? 50%? 80%?
The truth is a mere 10%. This means that only 1 person out of 10 managed to get to the gym twice each week for an hour. And my personal belief and advice is that you need to put in at least 3 times per week in order to see any kind of results.
So as you can see it is very simple for people to underestimate goals and fail at them simply because they were planning it the wrong way to begin with.
Expect things to not be easy and Stay motivated
Being highly motivated is the only way that will get you through the hard times and help you achieve your goals. If you don’t have the right motivation, your willpower will waver and you will quit at the first sign of trouble.
It will not be easy. Life is gonna throw curve balls. A lot of them. But how bad do you really want it? You were motivated when you added it to your list, right? It just felt right.
So why does it feel wrong now? It shouldn’t.
Pain and fear can stop you in your tracks and that sucks. But being able to push through pain and fear is exactly what you need so that you can get your goal and perhaps making it to the next year with a checked off list.
As the saying goes “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”.
Can you imagine how that would feel?
Adding 10 goals to your list and making it to the new year with all of them crossed off.
Imagine the progress.
2 bonus steps for you
Visualization is the cornerstone for any goal-setting plan. You must be able to visualize what you want, how you want it, how it would feel to have it and living with it in your life.
If you manage to do that, if you manage to see it in the eye of your mind, then you are halfway there already!
b. Stay in optimal Health
Being healthy will make the difference between quitting at the first sign of trouble and persevering all the way to the dreamland.
If you feel like crap, how will you have the necessary drive to make it all the way? If your energy is low because of all the crappy food you eat, while smoking, drinking and being exposed to other chemicals on a daily basis, how will you survive the journey to your goal AND ENDURE all the other stuff you have to go through on a daily basis?
So focus on your health. Eat right, take your vitamins through fruits and veggies or supplements or herbs (your call) and focus on your sleep hygiene. 90% of the people have lousy sleep so they wake up feeling like crap and have to turn to caffeine and stimulants to get them started. They fail to understand that these will only make them feel crappier after a few hours, which gets them caught in an endless loop.
Don’t be that person. Do things the right way!
Here’s my proposal to you. Instead of promising a shitload of things that you will fail at again anyway, put only one item on your list:
But hold on, didn’t I say that it was a mistake to have big generic goals on our list?
That is very correct. You just passed your first step.
Now redefine your list based on the things that you just read and you’ll be on your way to greatness this year!
Do you make a new year’s resolution list? How many items do you add? How many of them do you get to cross off your list by the end of the year? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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Wishing you a Happy Strong, Healthy and Free year.
by Nick Sigma
C.W.C, E.H, E-YRT200