Let me guess… You want to lose weight in 2016? Eat healthier? Travel more? Save money? Start a company? Whatever it is you want to achieve in 2016 (and I hope you do have some goals), you should really put some thought into it first.
How many of last year’s New Year’s resolutions did you keep? Don’t worry if the answer is zero; you’re not alone. Studies show that only 8% of people are successful in keeping their resolutions. We all had a feeling the number would be low… but only eight percent?
The good news is that people who make clear resolutions are ten times more likely to reach their goals than people who don’t make resolutions. So you should set goals, but what exactly is the recipe for success when it comes to New Year’s resolutions?
Don’t set too many goals. You can’t do everything. This year alone I tried to travel the world while writing this blog, doing volunteer work, making travel videos, maintaining two remote jobs, and completing an online writing course… while also wanting to explore each new place I was in. It was physically and mentally impossible to succeed at everything. Instead of making a “bucket list” of resolutions, pick just a few that you know you’ll have time to focus on.
Make goals for you. Don’t make resolutions simply because other people say you should change. Be sure that your goal is something that you truly want for yourself, not the result of someone else’s opinion. If it’s not something that you actually want, you’ll have no motivation to keep your resolution.
Be realistic. Don’t resolve to be promoted to manager if you’re only an intern, or to run a marathon if you hate running and won’t be motivated to train. Think about your own strengths and weaknesses, and set goals that, even if they require some hard work, you know are within reach.
Be specific. Figure out how you are going to achieve it. Don’t just say you’re going to “enjoy life more in the New Year.” Schedule a new hike for yourself every weekend or a different restaurant to try every Tuesday night. Instead of saying you’re going to “be healthy,” resolve to replace your daily bag of chips or m&ms with a piece of fruit. Specific goals will seem a lot more attainable than broad goals like to “get in shape.”
Don’t expect change right away. You’re not going to go from a size 12 to a size 8 in the first week of January. Start with baby steps and realize that little changes become big changes over time. If it helps, come up with “stepping stone” goals and break down your long-term goals into a series of shorter ones.
Prioritize. As you’ve probably heard me say before, reaching goals is all about priorities. You may say you don’t have enough time to spend time with family, but that’s not true. You have the time; you’ve just filled your schedule with alternative (prioritized) activities. You may say you can’t save enough money for a weekend out of town, but the reality is that you’re just spending that money on your house, car payments, restaurants, or whatever it may be that you’ve prioritized over travel. If your goal really means a lot to you, it should become a priority.
Think you can. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” If you really want to change something in the New Year, you must first change your mind. You want to travel the world? Go do it. Telling yourself that you can’t afford it or that you can’t leave your job are fine excuses. But they’re just that… excuses. If you want something bad enough, put faith in yourself to make it work. Oftentimes you’ll find that simply believing you can is the most difficult part of achieving your goal.
Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt
So you know those things you’ve been wanting to do? You should go do them. Because you are the only one holding yourself back. You can’t go back and create a new beginning, but you can begin now and create your own ending. If there’s something you’re not happy with, make a change.
It’s about to become a New Year. A blank first page to the story that only you can write. If you weren’t happy with last year’s story, write a new one. Commit to the story that you dream of. Be fearless in pursuit of your passion, and go live the life that you want to live.
Have a great New Years Eve & see you all in 2016.
As always, keep on livin’ pura vida ✌