Just yesterday when chatting about turning the page to 2016 a friend said to me, “I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I didn’t become a better person!”
Ok, here’s the thing. We all have something we really want. We think about it often, it’s in the back of our minds every single day in some way or another and it’s very personal to us. Getting fit and healthy perhaps? A new business endeavor? Organizing your life? Spending less and saving more? Enjoying more time with friends and family? Simply put, one of two things have happened – we’ve either made a conscience choice not to pursue our goal or we’ve likely failed before at trying to achieve it.
If you’re contemplating a New Year’s Resolution for 2016, you should know that scientific research tells us you have a 92% chance of failure*. So what are the winning 8% doing successfully? They’re throwing glitter at the new year and kicking adversity in the face! Here’s how:
- They Want It! Sometimes we just think we want something, a stark difference than truly wanting it. Other times we think we should do something because of outside influences but we don’t actually want to do it. Start by asking yourself, am I making this resolution just because…or do I want it so badly I will sacrifice whatever it takes to make it happen?
- They have their priorities straight. When looking at your life, you need a list of your top five priorities. Write them down right now. Seriously. Write them down. If your resolution doesn’t fit into the top five, you’re going to have a tough time achieving it. Consider focusing on another goal that is perfectly aligned with one of your priorities.
- They are confident their goal WILL be achieved. Research indicates that the winning 8% have a higher degree of confidence than those who eventually fail. You should consider your confidence level. If you are not at least 70% convinced you’ll make it happen, it’s not worth your commitment or energy.
- They don’t tell anyone about it. Numerous scientific studies dating back to the 1920s support the idea that you should keep your resolutions to yourself. Seems backwards from what we’re taught, huh? And it’s not just about self-accountability. Think about the feeling and emotions that would come from telling your friends your goal has been achieved. It’s a euphoric idea, isn’t it? Science tells us that when we share a big goal with our friends, your mind is tricked into thinking it’s already been reached. When your goals are acknowledged by others, it feels real to your brain – like social substitution for that euphoric state. Moral of the story, don’t Facebook your resolutions this year!
- They embrace the power of positive thinking. We all have a choice to tell ourselves we will succeed or tell ourselves we won’t. As one of the most victorious Biblical characters, David said, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is,” Proverbs 23:7. When establishing a new habit your first step should be to create an ongoing practice of constructive thoughts. A pattern of negativity will simply squash your big plans.
I’d love to share more ideas with you on living a life on the north side of average! Subscribe and share today! Happy New Year to you!
*John Norcross, University of Scranton, 1985