Over on The Focus Course blog, Issac Smith wrote a great piece about how to actually achieve your New Years Resolutions (and how most people don’t).
University of Scranton research found that 92% of new years resolutions fail.
I was in disbelief the first time I heard that. Sure 50%, I maybe would have even said 75%, but 92%? That’s crazy.
So if nine out of ten people are failing at their goals, how do you become the one that nails it?
The basic answer is to focus on just a couple of things and to integrate those things into your daily life. Simple, right?
Focusing on only a couple of goals is the easy part1. Interlacing them with everything else that it going on in your daily life is hard. This paragraph jumped off the screen at me because just about everything on here happened to me in the last year.
This doesn’t account for a child being sick, having car trouble, not sleeping well, processing the loss of a loved one, someone in your community asking for your help, fall clean-up and maintaining your property, overcoming depression, working on your passion project, paying bills and managing the budget, getting quality time with your spouse, last minute grocery store run, watching the show you love, getting a cold, FaceTiming family, fixing the broken thermostat, another child is teething, oh yeah, and finding time to exercise.
This year is the first time that I have made a resolution and have actually stuck with it for the entire year, and I did it by using Issac’s exact strategy. My two things I wanted to do was read the entire Bible and to workout every day.
Doing those required saying no to other things. On some days it was saying no to sleeping in, on other days it was saying no to watching TV in the evening.
Even though I was already practicing most of what he suggested, it was helpful to see those steps written out. Next year, my goals are going to change a bit, but I will still be using this strategy to help me hit them.
Related to this, my other favorite New Years Resolution tip is to start early. For my workout goal, I started about three weeks early. I missed a couple of days in my first week, but missing those days didn’t mean I missed for the year. It allowed me to get the hiccups out of the way early and hit the new year with momentum built up.
Focusing on certain goals does not mean that you cannot make progress on others. It just means picking the important ones when you cannot do both.
I have had a longstanding goal to work more on a side project. This year, if I only had time to work on the side project or work out, I worked out. ↩