Goals and Resolutions: Why we Fail and How to Succeed
Have you ever made a resolution that you didn’t keep? Is it something you’ve tried a few times now? Any idea what went wrong? Have you ever looked at someone who has succeeded and wondered what they did differently? Do you know what separates the people who achieve the goals they set and those who are stuck in the place of same old hopes and dreams? One word: action. Action is required to create change. And although (I firmly believe) any action is better than no action, smart action is really the way to go. It was Albert Einstein that defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Ever done that? I have. Now I know better. If you want to create change in your life (keep a resolution or achieve a goal) you need to take action to make that change a reality.
3 Steps for Success
1) It has to be SMART.
The first thing you need to do is look at the resolution. Is it specific? Measurable? Action oriented? Realistic? Can you break it down into steps you can put in a time frame? Write your resolution down. Tell people, the more the better. This makes it real, gives it life.
2) It needs to be actionable.
The next thing you do is break it into actionable steps. Let me give you an example of the one resolution I failed to act on last year and what I’m going to do differently this year to create success. Last year I decided to switch out the canned beans in my diet for dried ones (a bit healthier and cheaper). It was so simple that I overlooked creating the action plan necessary. What will I do differently this year?
Buy the damn beans. I’m going to start with black beans and kidney beans. I’m going to get them by January 3rd. (Specific, action-oriented, and within a time frame).
- I’m going to cook these beans on January 8th when I’m batch cooking for the week, then freeze them in little containers. I’ll repeat this every week with different kinds until I have a little stockpile going. Since I tend to plan out my meals a week in advance, I can make more or less depending on what I’ll be cooking that week. I’m pretty sure this is going to work. I’ll let you know.
3) It must be reassessed often.
Finally, you need to check in with your new habit. Do this weekly at first, then monthly. What’s working? What’s not? It’s better to reassess and make an adjustment than it is to fail miserably and wait a year before thinking about it again (like I did with the beans…). What action steps can you take to make an adjustment? Do you need to call in some reinforcement? If you’re on track what can you focus on next? Write down your focus and keep moving towards your goals. Enjoy the journey….
Remember, and this is super important—write your goals down, and tell people. If you don’t, you’re making it easy to fail yourself. Feel free to start by sharing your goals and resolutions with me… I love to hear from you! When you know the first action step towards your resolution, do it right away. Why wait? And if you need any help, let me know.