Tis’ the season to reflect and reset. As the new year approaches and you start to reflect on the year gone by, you might even wonder where it went and what you achieved. This is quickly followed by promises not to make the same mistakes as last year.
The conversation is starting to sound oh so familiar, as you remember having the same conversation with yourself last year. You wonder if perhaps you are caught in some weird “Groundhog Day” loop and you start looking for an exit sign.
If this is sounding all too familiar, this year you shouldn’t make new year’s resolutions and here are three reasons why…
1. You don’t have clarity
Making a resolution in a desperate bid for change is a great thought, but that’s all it is. To make change, you actually need to do stuff, but more importantly, you need to take the right actions towards the right goals. Surprising, but true!
So, if you don’t have clarity around your goals or know the right actions to take, don’t make any resolutions, then you won’t have to deal with the disappointment of not achieving them.
For example: Planning to lose a few pounds is a common resolution but it lacks clarity. Having clarity means that you know exactly many pounds or kilos you want to lose, by what date you plan to lose them and how you will measure the weight loss.
Specific actions include what exercises you will do and how many times a week you will exercise. What will you change about your diet specifically? Also, planning to weigh yourself each Monday morning at 8 a.m. so that you are consistent in how you are measuring the loss.
2) You get derailed easily
You make the resolution then you hit a roadblock and get derailed. You might make a resolution not to eat chocolate as part of your plan to lose nine pounds (or three kilos). Then you open the refrigerator and find a half block of your favourite chocolate you had forgotten about that you had opened the night before.
Well you don’t want to waste good food! That just wouldn’t be right, so you make an exception for today. After you’ve eaten it, you realise that you aren’t even a day in and you’ve broken the resolution already! You spend the rest of the day beating yourself up for breaking it.
Having clarity around your plan and specific actions in place will help you focus so strongly on your goal that it will enable you to clear your environment of temptations so that you are less likely to be derailed.
3) Look to the wrong people for support
You once heard that telling people about your “resolution” is a good thing, because when you go public, it keeps you honest. So you tell your BFF’s that you are going to drink less alcohol this year (for the fourth year running).
They scoff a little and invite you out for Friday night drinks, which you sheepishly accept. You then realise that your friends don’t want you to change, as they like socialising with you on a Friday night.
Focusing on very clear goals can help you have a stronger “Yes” to the right things and a stronger “No” to what you don’t want in your life.
In this case, one specific action you committed to as part of losing nine pounds was to have no more than two drinks, two times per week. You can still enjoy a drink with the girls, but you put some boundaries around your actions.
Read more about the 5 Success Formula Fundamentals for making the changes in your life without breaking one New Year’s resolution!!
P.S.: This is the formula I have used to make changes in my life (and successfully mentored and coached over 500 people) and it has worked like a charm for years, without ever making or breaking one New Year’s resolution!