Top Ten Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick (Part 2: 6-10)
At the start of the year we set out huge expectations for ourselves. We confidently bellow out that this is the year we will breakthrough. This is the year where we will hit new heights and stick it to the people who thought we couldn’t. A couple weeks in, suddenly it’s not as easy as we imagined. Our progress dwindles and what was once a burning candle turns into a smoky reminisce.
It starts with seemingly inconsequential slacking on small tasks. We bring back the ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ attitude and suddenly it’s March and we realize that we’ve by-passed the entire month of February and haven’t followed through on our New Year expectations.
If you haven’t read the first blog yet, do so. Here is the second installment of practical applications to keep your New Year’s Resolutions going.
6. Write down your goals every night
I have to thank Brian Tracy for this great piece of advice. It’s a very simple idea but so powerful when put into practice.
The theory states that if you write down the next day’s to-do list before you go to sleep, you will unconsciously set out your day and wake up knowing exactly what is expected of you.
Whilst I’m an advocate for spontaneity when it comes to productivity it is always better to have a plan. I like to use a post-it note on the desktop of my computer; others use calendars or a notebook.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Let me put this as bluntly as I can. If you don’t have a plan, then you will lose motivation very quickly. Life is full of distractions, and it is very easy to get sucked back into the world of a thousand things to do. Therefore, you must set up your day with the knowledge of what you NEED to get done.
7. Discover Your Learning Style
This is the kind of advice that would usually need to be followed with an in-depth look at the different learning styles and to whom each one applies. However, to keep this blog from being too long, I will save that in-depth discussion for another time.
Each individual has a primary learning style that is much preferred and a couple of secondary learning styles that still have lots of use within their life.
The different types of learning style include:
- Visual – Learn through seeing. This kind of person learns through diagrams and images.
- Auditory – Learning through listening.. This kind of person learns through hearing other people talk, or talking themselves.
- Kinesthetic – Learning through action/touch. This kind of person learns by trying it themselves. If it’s a new workout they want to learn, they want to
try it out and go from there, rather than hear or see it being done.
- Auditory-Digital. Patterns, Logical sequences. This kind of person likes to learn in steps. First you do this, then you do this, then you get your result.
Once you discover your primary learning style, shape your resolution around it. If you want to lose weight work out which style will keep you on track. One of these will always out-power the others; the difference is on an individual level.
8. Stay Positive
There are going to be days where you are feeling down about your progress (this actually links to the next two points). The trick to becoming the person you want to be lies in your ability to enjoy the process.
The worst thing you could possibly do is to be down on yourself. Unfortunately I see it all too often. People are so quick to shout from the rooftops as to why life isn’t great for them. They pick up this ‘victim mentality’ and then feel validated when other people come and tell them that “it’s all ok” or that they are “awesome”.
What a strange idea. Positively reinforcing of negative thinking patterns. Wow. No wonder people resort back to negative attitudes so often.
You can do anything you put your mind to. You can accomplish any task you want. If you want to lose weight, you CAN lose weight, no matter how you much you weigh right now. If you want to quit smoking, you can, regardless of what it feels when you go a day without lighting up.
One of the words I hate most in the world is “can’t”. I “can’t” do that. He/she “can’t” do that. Why the fuck not? Do it! You can become anything you want. If you put enough effort in, you can learn any skill under the sun. The only thing that stops you from doing it is yourself and the way you feel about yourself. So stay positive.
9. Learn from fail days
Following on from staying positive, you should also learn from your fail days. You will not succeed at your goal every single day, we are human and we naturally have some days that are not as productive as others. Accept that and then learn from it.
When you end the day not being as productive as you would have liked, figure out what stopped you from doing your work. Was it your mindset? Did you put off doing the first task for too long and then fail to gain momentum? Were you distracted by other tasks?
Instead of declaring yourself a failure, accept that you didn’t get the result you wanted that day. Figure out the root cause and then learn from it for the future.
10. Don’t expect instant results
This is the famous one. Luckily I work-out at home rather than a gym so I haven’t experienced too much of the ‘New Year’s Resolution Rush’.
What usually happens with New Year’s Resolutions (especially ones to do with our body) is you do it for a couple of weeks, don’t see any good results and then give up. Why?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. A farmer knows that he needs to plant his seed, nurture it and then eventually he will create a harvest. Why should our bodies be any different?
If you want to succeed at something, you need to get over the fact that it isn’t going to happen overnight. There are no over-night transformations, especially when it comes to biology. Get your ass to the gym and keep on working out.
If you keep doing it, the results will come. It is only when you give up that the results aren’t going to happen for you. Then you’ll come back to the gym next year and start the same process.
Do yourself a favor and stick with your goals, even when you don’t see the instant rewards for your hard work.
Until next time, don’t forget to follow the blog, comment, and get out of life what you deserve.