One week into 2014 and, if you’ve set a (or some) resolution(s) you should be 7 days in. Just curious…How’s that going for you?! Statistics on sticking to New Years resolutions are terrible! Depending on what source you look at – the success rate can be only 5-15%. Come on! we can do better than that!
Actually starting a task can be the hardest part – I get it – but personally, I don’t understand why people wait until Jan 1. to begin any goal. Goal-achieving can be hard enough without letting the start of the Gregorian Calendar be what pushes your start button. I believe that using the calendar to inspire action is like using a false friend for a buddy; in a pinch – will they go out of their way to back you up when you need it? You want to start something? Start it! You want to change something? Change it!
As you progress it should feel as if you are making choices – not sacrifices.
I’m not saying having New Years Resolutions is wrong. I suppose if having a deadline to finish a goal works so well for me, then having a deadline to start a goal can work for others. In either case, I believe the key to success is in the ownership of the goal itself. No goal will be easy to achieve, but if you believe the goal is yours, something you-want-for-you, then the easier it is to stay committed to. (ex. If a child wants to learn/play a sport/instrument then they are far more likely to stay committed to the training than a child whose parents want them to play that sport/instrument. Or… A person has to want to quit smoking for them self first. The goal of quitting because other people want you to, or you think other people want you to is so much harder. )
- Did you set a goal just to set it? Really Tough to stick to
- Is it someone else’s goal? Harder to stick to
- Did you wait for someone to start/push you? Hard to stick to
- Is it your own goal? (set for and by you) Easier to stick to
- Did you instigate the start and ‘jump in’? Easier to stick to
- Are you genuinely passionate about the goal? Practically easy to stick to
The more involvement you have in the initial planning, instigation and performance of a goal the more motivation, commitment and accountability you’ll have as you progress along your goal-achieving path. When that is the case, as you progress it should feel as if you are making choices that will help achieve your goal – not that you are making sacrifices that will ‘ruin your day’. This isn’t exclusive to adults. Too often I hear stories where parents have, with best intentions, taken care of all of the planning, the start date and even a lot of the ‘tricky’ or more challenging elements of a goal/task that belongs to their child and then they wonder why their child has no commitment to it. Continue reading