As we’ve written before, 2020 is a year that we’d all love to see in the rearview mirror. The best part about a new year is the hope and optimism of what tomorrow will bring, and that’s especially true this year.
Taking a hard look at what you want for the future and what you’d like to leave behind is part of deciding on your resolution. Too often, we chose a resolution based on how we feel right now, rather than look at it from what is the best change to make in my life to better myself and improve my wellbeing.
Perhaps you want to improve your overall health, make a career change, or some other major undertaking. Don’t be discouraged by this next statement, but one thing to know is that 80% of resolutions fail.
Three Ways To Make Your Change Permanent
There are three main reasons that we fail with our resolutions, and each cause is easy to overcome. Knowing why we fail is essential for us to understand how to make our goals happen and our resolutions stick.
The most important cause of why we fail with our goals is because they are too broad or general. Saying something like “I want to lose weight” is a lofty ambition, but what does it mean to lose weight, how much would you like to lose, and how do you plan on losing the amount?
The key instead is to make your weight loss goal more specific. In other words, focus on losing two pounds a week than ten pounds in total. The reason is that we are more motivated with small accomplishments than tackling larger, general tasks.
Be accountable to your goal. Too often, people set out for making a significant behavior change and lose momentum and interest. Finding someone to hold you to your commitment is vital to maintain your efforts, especially when things become difficult because there will be times when you don’t have the motivation or energy.
Even the best athletes, businesspersons, musicians, and actors have a coach to hold them accountable when times become difficult. You don’t have to hire someone to hold you responsible. Just find someone that can motivate you when you need an external prod known as extrinsic motivation.
We are a mix of internal motivation and external motivation. We want to improve or learn something for ourselves but will find it difficult to continue without the additional external stimulus.
Think about when you are learning something new, whether it’s a new subject or skill.
Without having a teacher grade, your understanding and improvement, your growth and knowledge of the subject matter aren’t apparent. That is why you need a quiz, a test, or input from somebody else to help you analyze what you grasp and don’t with any new skill or subject.
Change your thinking and change your behavior. The first step in changing your behavior is to decide what you’d like to change. Once you know, the next step is to think about why and how you plan to make it happen. Understanding why you want to make a change and how you plan on making it stick is crucial in finding the motivation to make it happen.
For example, if you were to say that you wanted to improve your health habits, drink more water, and change your eating habits, those are admirable but not actionable. Now, if you were to say you wanted to make this change for your health and well-being and model good habits for your children, now you have the why component.
In this example, you can change your exercise routine, focus on clean eating, take supplements for heart health like a coq10 supplement or multivitamin, and get more sleep to see significant gains in your overall health.
Breaking Down Large Tasks Into Small Achievements Equals Lasting Change
Taking a well-defined resolution and breaking it down into small, manageable tasks that you can quickly turn into accomplishments is an excellent first step toward making lasting changes in your life.
Having someone hold you accountable to those goals, especially in times that are difficult or when you lack the motivation to see your goals through, is crucial.
And knowing why you want to make those changes in the first place is essential for your own internal motivation.