Instead, plan strategically and bask in success!!
2/3’s of us made a New Year’s resolution this year, but sadly, the data suggests that less than 10% of us will be successful. #newyearsresolutionfail
Why are we so bad at this?
Our modern lifestyle has us on the receiving end of unprecedented levels of relentless messaging about what others think we should want, need, or should try to be.
I resolve to (fill in the blank).
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, we answer the resolution question with one of the following 4 types of resolutions: 1) self improvement/education, 2) weight, 3) money or 4) relationship.
We are cheered for following the trend rather than striking out on our own.
I got a Garmin Vivo Active watch for Christmas – I wanted it for my marathon training and it’s excellent – I love it. But it wants me to wear it 24/7. It wants me to rely on it to tell me if I slept well or not and encourages me to enter into weekly, even daily challenges to see who gets the most steps. My watch will even auto set my daily goal to slightly more than I achieved yesterday and buzz at me to move if I sit still for too long!!
Nope! I normally take my watch off at night and only compare my fitness metrics against my own targets which I set. It’s so easy to be lulled into ‘business as usual’, the predictable, the uneventful beige of ‘normal routine’ instead of taking control and ‘writing our own story’.
Here’s 4 Things You Can And Should Do Now – even if you are not making resolutions!
1. Reflect On The Past Year’s Accomplishments
It’s so easy to just move on from your accomplishments but so important that you don’t forget them. When you set out to do something you create a learning path – like breaking trail through the forest. When you succeed your mind automatically makes that path a little more permanent. If and when you draw on this positive experience to help you in the future the path becomes better worn – more permanent. Repeated success makes the path a well-worn, reliable trail that is easy to find and you can trust will lead you where you want to go.
Total Quality theory refers to this as a ‘Reliable Method”. When you reflect, write down your accomplishments on paper – that makes the path more permanent than just thinking about it. We’ll talk more about the power of writing it down in my free “Get Your Shish Together” Webinar.
2. Understand Why First, Before You Decide What
I think most often that we fail at keeping our New Year’s Resolutions because while we have committed to a “what”, e.g. make more $, we don’t know the “why”, e.g. reduce stress. As leadership expert Michael Hyatt says, “we only really pursue goals that are personally important to us.” Committing to make more money could actually increase your stress if you don’t create your goals and strategies with this key priority in mind. Your Key Priorities define your why.
You can’t know what you want until you know WHY you want it
In my experience, this is the stuff almost nobody does. Maybe that’s why true success seems to belong to too few.
There’s a bunch of emerging research out there pointing to the idea that the #1 attribute that predicts success is perseverance.
Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck personifies this – and implores anyone who will listen to him to get this part right. Gary says, “There are about a million other things that could stop success in it’s tracks.There are a million reasons why not, but there is one good reason why, which is this: you just have to persevere.
Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth in her TED talk calls this GRIT. Angela went to graduate school and tried to find out who succeeds and who does not. She conducted research at West Point Military Academy, schools, private companies, and from these very different contexts concluded that one characteristic was more indicative of success than the rest. And that was grit: having passion and perseverance for long term goals.
Michael Hyatt says, “What does it take to accomplish your goals? Some people think it’s mostly about luck, smarts, good looks, and social connections. Nope. The word I use to describe that is persistence.”
You will only perservere through the tough times if what you are trying to achieve is very important to you – its one of your key priorities. I’ll show you how to easily identify your Key Priorities in my free “Get Your Shish Together” Webinar.
3. Remind yourself the journey is more important than the destination
Life is scattered with a few precious moments that don’t last very long. I think of these as destinations. But they are only a small part of what really matters, and that’s the “travelling there”. Say you want to accomplish 5 things in a year and once you do you’ll celebrate each one for an entire day. That celebration is only 1.4% of the year. What if you spent two weeks of the year celebrating these accomplishments? That’s still just 4%. You spend 96% of your time on the journey.
I train for and run destination marathons. Next up I'm running the New York City Marathon #nycmarathon (watch this 2 minute video short I posted in my feed) and yes it’s a huge celebration that typically lasts a few days. The pride is always with me, but the destination is short-lived. It’s the training that is the real pay-off. People sometimes look at me weird when I say that, but yes, the 600 - 1000 km’s or so I run to prepare for a marathon does so much more for me than the race. If you revel in the journey (see photo here from January training run in a blizzard), its way more rewarding and you are much more likely to succeed in arriving at the destination. You and I will dig a little deeper into this in my free “Get Your Shish Together” Webinar.
Founder of Pirate Radio, host of several podcasts and author of “This I Know” Terry O’Reilly came up with a “shish kebab theory” in advertising that centers around the strength of a brand to be the skewer that keeps all of a company’s marketing strategies in place. Terry’s insights into cause and effect are right up my alley as I love to put that knowledge into action in strategic planning, cumulative effects assessment and helping people like you and I successfully ‘write our own story’ rather than simply accepting ‘business as usual’.
In this webinar I will show you how to quickly and easily:
Photo credits in order of appearance: by Norwood Themes, Nadine Shaabana, Garrett Parker, on Unsplash