It has been a long time since I have written a post on this blog. After a two-year hiatus, there is no better way to start 2015 by first addressing an important question that people keep asking me.
Why is it that over 90% of so-called New Years Resolutions fail?
People that actually meet their goals, don’t need to wait for a New Year to announce their ‘resolutions.’ They have a list of goals at any given moment of the year. Their goals are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic with timely deadlines. This is also called the S.M.A.R.T method.
Some of the reasons people fall through on their goals.
1. Goals are unwritten. If you write your goals, you are doing better than 88% of the population that have little to no written goals. Why is writing goals down so important? It is because our ancestors and fellow Homo sapiens were born to hit targets they can see. It has been around since the dawn of civilization, and is unlike to change. If you tell yourself your going to lose 20 pounds in 6 months, it may give you the first push to get started. After a while, you may get sidetracked; you took two cheat days instead of one, you missed a workout, results don’t seem to go along as planned. Sooner or later you lose sight of your original goal, you start to cut corners, and eventually give up all together.
2. You fail to commit to your word. Imagine how it would feel like if you told yourself you would go to the gym three times a week, and by Saturday you still haven’t gone once. That is self-sabotage at its finest; you are subconsciously programming yourself that it is okay to wait until later, that there would always be more ‘time’. This brings us to the next point.
3. No sense of urgency. The fabled motivational speaker Jim Rohn said it best, “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Say you wanted to earn a million dollars. A million dollars by when? 5 years? 15 years? 60 years? I am pretty sure if someone had 60 years to earn a million dollars, that would be fairly straightforward (million/ 60 years = ~$16,667 annually excluding taxes and inflation), but they would also probably be broke. However, a million dollars in 5 years would average $200,000 per year. Same goal, different time frame. I doubt anyone would want the former, but that’s what most people tell themselves when they set goals without a specific time frame! It’s no wonder that people will go crazy with a looming deadline in the next 48 hours, and are hesitant to move if they have a full year to do it.
4. Goals are not specific and measurable. A large hefty goal such as running a marathon can seem insurmountable if it isn’t broken down into manageable milestones. So when people announce a large goal without haven’t a plan to conquer it, they are setting themselves up to fail. The worst waste of time is to go around fooling yourself. My suggestion would be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and bi-annual milestones when breaking down a goal.
5. Lack of discipline. It is so easy to get distracted in this generation of LED screens and gadgets. We live in a time where everyday tasks seem convenient and easy to do. What is worth doing, is not easy. If it were easy everyone would do it. There wouldn’t be such thing as “Weight Watchers” or the equal if everyone could stick to their fitness goals. Under such turbulent circumstances, it has never been a better time to turn off your phone, shut off the TV, and get things done. Achievers are those who stick to it, to the end.
6. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people. How likely are you going to do anything if you are constantly getting negativity coming from the people around you. Words like “you can’t do that,” “just give up,” or “its never been done before.” Just because they haven’t done it before doesn’t mean you can’t. Zig Ziglar said, “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success that some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” Build a solid support group of people who see the best in you, hold you to higher standards, and keep you accountable for your actions. It’s easy to find people who will let you get by with average, but the question is, “Will you settle for that?” Average people create average results and lead average lives.
There are many online and offline resources for creating and keeping goals, some which I will list below. In 2014, I created a group called ‘Winner’s Circle’, out to cultivate an ecosystem of young and ambitious people eager and yearning for success. Feel free to join us, as we are building mini-communities in both North America, and the Asia-Pacific.