I know a lot of people wait until the start of the year to think about their goals, but I want to talk about why you shouldn’t be so quick to make New Year’s resolutions. There’s a better way to reach your goals…
If you don’t set goals for yourself, you will most likely end up wandering aimlessly without making any real progress toward changing your circumstances in the way you’d hope.
January is the time most people set goals full of enthusiasm and optimism. But, as you’ve probably witnessed time and time again, most people lose that momentum and ultimately abandon their New Year’s resolutions as fast as they’ve made them.
That’s because New Year’s resolutions don’t necessarily allow you to properly set your goals, make you map out a step-by-step plan for achieving them, or give you a system for keeping track of your progress.
The Problem With New Year’s Resolutions
You see, the problem with most New Year’s resolutions is they’re just a want, a wish, a vague idea — there’s no hard deadline or specificity to the goal. It’s something that you’re vaguely putting out in the universe. But the universe rewards those who are specific. The fact is that vague goals produce vague results.
I read a recent statistic that only 3% of the population actually writes down specific, measurable goals…
And correlated with that, 3% of the world’s population owns 97% of the world’s resources. So it’s safe to say that goal setters who are specific about what they want and what they are willing to do to create it are high achievers.
How to Set Goals
One of the best ways to give your goals clarity and specificity is to write them down as if you’re writing specs for a work order — include every possible detail. If you want a car, write down the make, model, color, year, and features.
Make sure they meet two main criteria: How much and by when.
Instead of saying, “I will lose 10 pounds,” say, “I will weigh 135 pounds by 5:00 pm on June 30th.”
Being this specific unleashes the power of your subconscious mind. It has something to grasp as opposed to most New Year’s resolutions that have a vague deadline of “sometime this year,” which doesn’t give you the same push as 5:00 pm on June 30th.
Here’s something else to consider, that 3% of high-achieving goal setters I was talking about earlier also harness visualization and affirmations to engage their subconscious mind by letting their mind’s eye envision their goal as already completed.
This creates something called structural tension (a conflict between what is and what is wanted) in our subconscious mind – a tension between what we’re visualizing and our present reality. And our minds are goal-seeking organisms that will work night and day to close that gap, activating our subconscious creative powers to process and filter information differently.
Meaning, you’ll start being more aware of anything that can help you achieve your goal, it’ll tune in to any activity, relationship, and group that can get you closer to the life you’re trying to create.
How to Overcome Fears and Roadblocks in Goal-Setting
Making a New Year’s resolution also doesn’t really properly prepare you for overcoming fears and roadblocks.
If someone makes a vague resolution to start running daily, they’ll probably get thoughts like, “I could get hurt” or “I’ll have to wake up two hours earlier every day before work,” which will turn them off and have second thoughts of whether or not they really want to do it.
These considerations, fears, and roadblocks are going to be a part of your journey. In fact, if they don’t come up, your goal isn’t big enough to stretch you. The key is to know that they are normal, and to not let them stop you. It’s part of the process.
Don’t Wait to Set Goals
Research also shows that if you repeat a behavior for 13 weeks, like learning how to meditate and meditating 20 minutes a day, reviewing your goals twice a day, or writing thank-you letters to clients, it’ll stick for life.
Working diligently on building or changing one new habit every quarter won’t overwhelm you like an unrealistic list of New Year’s resolutions or underestimate what you can actually do.
So just pick one new habit a quarter rather making a long list of all the things you are going to try to do. This is a much better strategy for success.
I want you to start with just one, big, realistic, specific goal. Write it down and review it constantly. Then I want you to make sure you do something every day that moves you closer to achieving it.
Tell me what your goal is by leaving a comment below.
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