Happy New Year everyone.
According to statisticbrain.com top 10 new years resolutions are following:
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend less, save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Staying fit and healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quit smoking
- Help others in their dreams
- Fall in love
- Spend more time with family
All of them are great, but there’s one problem.
Less than 10% of people achieve their New Years Resolutions (source)
You know the feeling.
There are still couple of days left until the New Year and you’ve made your Resolution.
You then keep doing what you’ve done every day for the past year, with the exception of mental-masturbating to the thought of going to the gym next year.
Do you see what’s wrong here?
New years resolution is like an advanced form of “I’ll do it tomorrow”.
Funny thing, after I read that top 10 list I immediately thought that those should be the things you just do every day, no questions asked.
Why people fail with their “resolutions”
1. Their reason for making a change sucks.
“Next year I’m going to start being awesome, go to gym etc!”
Yada yada yada.
Motivation gets you started, but habit keeps you going. That first rush will end no matter what, but the stronger your drive is, the bigger your chances are for succeeding.
Motivation is created by strong images of success and amazing dreams. People who make New Years Resolutions may have some half-assed thoughts about continuing to jog, but once their first surge of motivation ends, they fall back to their old habits.
What to do instead: Forget “New Years Resolutions” completely.
You are not doing shit because you “promise yourself”.
You have to be willing to improve with all your heart and that doesn’t ask permission from some date in the calendar.
Find your “why”. There are always reasons why we do what we do. You will have to dig deeper to your soul and search for the answers that will make your life amazing in the long-term.
Forget all the shallow things. It doesn’t have to be just one, though one good “why” can be enough.
If your “why” makes you excited and you love the idea of even thinking about it.. You are on the right path.
If you had all the freedom right now, what would you do?
2. They can’t make it into a habit (They don’t have a plan)
Depending on the habit, it takes from few weeks to several months to form one.
The most crucial moment is between when your initial surge of motivation ends and forming of a habit – what keeps you going during that time?
This is why you need a strong image to get to the point where you manage to make something into a habit.
I know from experience that if you have that drunken thought to start exercising after the New Year, you are going to do it maybe a couple of times and then forget it.
What to do instead: Know beforehand that your motivation most likely will not last until the moment you manage to make something a habit. You need a back-up plan, which is self-discipline.
We all know those asian people who have amazing discipline. It’s not something they are born with, it’s something they are taught to do. It’s a skill that you teach to yourself and this is how it works:
- Think long-term effects of your actions.
- Writing your goal (your drive, your dreams) down helps – don’t ask why, it just does. Don’t think you are different (like I did), write it down now!
- Every time you have thoughts of doing something that’s not beneficial to you or you are about to procrastinate – Be aware of those thoughts, recognize them for what they are. They are your old conditioning, the ones you are working to change.
- Think about what really drives you. Why you started?
- Force yourself to choose the better choice. This is all there is to it – the first dozen of times it will be HARD, but it will get easier as your brain gets conditioned in different way.
- Be aware that even if the first rush of enthusiasm fades away, your goal does not. It won’t feel the same, but it’s still there. It’s still important.
- Search for new ideas. Read motivating material, watch motivating videos. Make motivating yourself into a habit: do it daily (preferably in the morning), no matter what.
- Be prepared to fight for several months to develop real, lasting habits. The stronger your drive, the less time you will need – this varies person to person.
It all comes down to conditioning, re-wiring your brain in a different way.