Sit back and watch the show. That is what I do every year about this time.
You see, while successful people are just going about their daily routine, a bunch of other people come out of the woodwork and create these “New Year’s resolutions”. Then for the next few weeks or months they are gung-ho, 100% focused on achieving these resolutions. At some point they fizzle out, give up, stop and go back to how things were the previous year. But don’t worry, there will be a new year next year and they can repeat the process.
Does this sound like you? Someone you know? Did you feel offended while reading that previous paragraph? If so, maybe it is time for you to STOP making New Year’s resolutions and start being successful.
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The Problems With New Year’s Resolutions
They Get Made on a Whim
When people make resolutions for the new year, they typically make them close to the new year and it is based on whatever they are thinking at that time. After people fatten up on holiday meals, or look at their bank account/credit card statement, it is no wonder that some of the most popular resolutions revolve around losing weight or making/saving more money. These resolutions are not tied to long and short term goals.
They Are Not Part of the Larger Context
Speaking or goals, it is important to derive our actions from our goals so that the actions will drive us towards achieving our goals. When resolutions are made without looking at the larger goals, they may not align and therefore not work towards achieving the bigger goals.
They Are Often Vague
As mentioned, top resolutions are often “lose weight”, “make more money” or “spend more time with family”. These are not SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound). Without adhering to the SMART criteria, it is difficult to see visible progress and know when the goal has been achieved.
They Don’t Last
Because of the above reasons (and others), most resolutions do not last. The gym is crowded in January, but back to normal levels by March. A bunch of new “We Buy Houses” go up in February, but by summer they all disappear.
What Successful People Do Different
So how can you avoid defining a resolution and giving up or quitting on it a few months in? Check out of the tips and practices that successful people use.
They Know Their “Why”
I’ve said it time and time again, and I will say it again here. Successful people know their “Why” or driving factor. You why has to be strong enough to keep you motivated and get you through those hard times and failures.
They Have Ongoing Goals
Successful people do not just create goals on January 1st. Instead, they always have goals and are always adding/dropping or adjusting to them.
They Track Progress & Review Often
I love those maps that they have at the mall. You know, the ones with the map of the mall and a big star saying “You are here”. Goals and tracking progress work in the same fashion. By having a goal and frequently tracking the progress, you will always know where you are in terms of achieving that goal. And in some cases you may need to pivot and tweak your approach. Success people are not afraid to pivot, in part because they understand that things change and they know where they are in relation to achieving their goals.
So maybe the title of this article was a little too harsh. New Year’s resolutions can be good if they are tied to larger goals and used a checkpoint for those goals. Often times people fail with the resolutions is because they have not created SMART goals and taken the right steps to achieve success with them. Make this year different. Create your goals (I like to use 10 years, 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, 1 month), create actionable steps with measurable checkpoints and make this year different than the rest. Make this year the year of your success.
Have you been able to achieve your resolutions or goals? What tips/stories can you share with others?
Photo Credit: jeff_golden