Eighty percent of all the New Year resolutions will be broken by the second week of February. Another study suggests only 8% of all New Year resolutions will actually make it through the whole year!
So then why do so many of us decide to make new year resolutions?
Each time we fail to keep a New Year’s resolution our self-esteem plummets. We feel like losers. Failing always hurts. We start blaming ourselves, we blame our will-power, we blame our dedication, we blame the environment, we blame the fact that life is hard, we blame our spouse.
When the truth is that, we need to learn to create better new year resolutions. Today, when I hear some of the new year resolutions being made, I cringe, they are impossible, no wonder they fail!
My favourite example of a badly made New Year resolution goes like this;
“From the first of January, I will wake up at 5 am and go for a run”.
Now this person has never run in his life, nor has he ever woken up at five in the morning. He suddenly expects himself to do both?
I see this resolution fail on day one! Especially post the 31st night’s parties and 37 tequila shots.
Creating goals like this are what I call self sabotage.
Self sabotage is actually a habit, we do this to ourselves day after day after day.
We create impossible goals that we have no hope in hell of achieving. Then we feel sad about it. Think we didn’t try hard enough and create an even bigger goal for the next round.
Clearly, It’s a cycle we need to break!!
We do this by separating the goal from the habit. The idea is to keep the goals big and the habits small.
Let me share some examples from my own life. Four years ago, I wanted to start reading books. The last book I had read was 10 years earlier when I was in college.
I set myself a very hard goal of 26 books a year. From 0 to 26. You might say that’s self sabotage.
But what I did next is the golden secret to achieving your New Year resolution. I created a plan. The plan was to read 1 book every two weeks. Fair, that’s simple enough. I would require to read for a minimum of one hour a day. So, the habit I created was to read everyday for 30 minutes in the morning and for 30 minutes in the evening.
Thus making the resolution easy to achieve.
My goal for 2018 was 40 books. I am at 38 as of this recording.
If your goal is to get fit, don’t buy an expensive gym membership first. Instead plan a walk thrice a week and 20 squats everyday for the first 3 months. Then invest in a gym membership.
The habit for this should be simple, wear your sneakers and sweatpants every morning. That’s it.
If you have a yoga goal. Plan to do surya namaskars in the morning. Set a habit to lay out your yoga mat every morning and stand on it.
So for the new year, don’t make arbitrary goals. Follow this simple formula.
Goal; followed by a plan to achieve that goal; and the habit need to achieve the plan.
This whole week we will be discussing New Year resolution habits, so tune in on Wednesday for the next part of this series.