The myth of New Year's resolutions. Why they don't work and what you should do instead.
If you follow me on social media (Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn) you know the month of December is for me all about planning the new year with intention. Why should we wait until January to decide, figure out and plan the year ahead of us?!
If you are a high-achiever, you don't just want to get things done. You also want to pursue a bigger mission and you can't think of doing that without sitting down and planning a little.
The reason why I strongly believe planning is so important is because it puts things in motion. But not just that. When you plan, when you have a vision and goals, you know exactly which objective each of your daily action falls into, its long-term purpose. You understand clearly why you're doing what you're doing and this boosts your motivation, makes you consistent and allows you to achieve a lot.
Why New Year's resolutions don't work: Reason # 1 - They are too vague.
New Year's resolutions is a useless 5-minute exercise we attempt to do each year but that has never taken us anywhere. Seriously, who stuck with their resolutions beyond the 25th of January?
New Year's resolutions don't work because they are a vague idea, a wish, an ambiguous desire of something that we won't put into action. Why? Because they're not specific enough. Our brain has a hard time understanding an idea that is not clear and simple to use.
Spot the difference. "Next year I will work out" vs. "Next year I will work out Monday to Friday before starting work, at 8 am, for 30 minutes, in my living room". The second one is a measurable, specific, attainable goal - it basically has already a plan embedded in it, which makes it absolutely actionable.
Why New Year's Resolutions don't work: Reason # 2 - They are often not personal.
How many of your resolutions are personal goals? Not your boss's goals, not your spouse's, not your parents'. Are they something that really matters to you, that you have a deep motivation to work on?
Very often what we think we want are not actually wants, but have-tos, with no real meaning for us. Without a profound reason, without a powerful why, that goal stands no chance and will be binned and forgotten in no time. When a goal is not yours, motivation will fade away shortly after, you'll feel discouraged and give up.
So, before setting a goal, ask yourself, why you want to achieve it. And don't stop at your first answer - keep asking why until you get to the bottom of it. You may realize that you want to lose weight because it will make you more confident and will help you negotiate the promotion at work you've been after for a long time.
How to plan your 2021
First step: buy a notebook.
Then take some time to sit down and think about what you want in your life. How do you envision yourself in 1 to 5 years? What's missing and what needs to be removed because doesn't align with the identity you want for yourself? Break down these ideas into small, actionable, specific and personal goals that are meaningful for you. Find the real underlying reasons, because they will be the drivers for your change.
Once you have your goals write them down. I say that again, write them down.
If you don't put them on paper, you will forget, trust me. By writing them down not only they will be more impressed in your mind, but you will be able to go back to them throughout the year, revise them and adjust the plan based on how you are progressing.
Life is too messy to actually grow and achieve something big without a thoughtful and manageable plan. Things don't happen by chance. Without a plan life will get in the way and all your good intentions... puff... will just vaporize. Don't waste another year - let's sit down and envision and plan our 2021 together!
If you need help figure out what your health, personal and professional goals are and how to make a plan to create your vision, you can book your free 30-min Discovery Session here. I'll be happy to give you some directions and help you get started!