It’s this time of year where we start reflecting on the past year and kind of evaluate how far we’ve come and the goals we’ve accomplished. It’s also the time when we set out with new, great goals, and inevitably we fail at a few of them, 25 percent of people abandon their New Years resolutions after one week. So how to make and keep to our New Year’s resolutions. Here are 9 mistakes people do that stop them from achieving their resolutions:
The first mistake is that we don’t write our resolutions down.
A study done by psychologist Dr. Gail Mathews at Dominican University of California showed that 42 percent of students who had written their resolutions were more likely to achieve them. So next time you’re saying your goal out loud or to your friend, make sure you write it down too.
The second one is that we create too many goals.
Sometimes we decide we’re going to change our lives, we’re going to get really serious about resolution setting, and we set 20, 25, or even 30 different resolutions in all of these different areas. That’s simply too many. According to an old Chinese proverb “Man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” Ideally set yourself 7-10 goals in total.
The third mistake is that we only focus on one area of our lives.
It’s very common for us to have goals related to our carers. However, if you’re going to be fully expressed as a human being, if you’re going to become all that you were created to be, you have to set goals in the other areas of your life. Your health, for example, your spiritual life, your marriage, your involvement in the community, career goals. All of those different slices of the pie have to be addressed if you’re going to experience happiness and meaning in your ‘new life’.
The next mistake is that we don’t make our resolutions specific.
We often say “I want to write a book” or, “I want to study more” or, “I want to learn a new language”. That’s a good intention, but hat’s not specific enough. You might have a goal called ” I want to read more books.” But that’s not really a goal; it’s a dream. But if you say, “I want to read 10 books this year” that’s the kind of specificity we’re looking for. Or you could say, “I want to learn photography.” That’s to general. But to say, “I want to complete the Karl Taylor Photography Masterclass course…” That’s the kind of specificity we need. This actually gives you some kind of parameters to move forward.
The fifth mistake is that we don’t make our resolutions measurable.
What gets measured gets improved, and to be able to measure it is partly an aspect of specificity, but let me give you an example. If I say, “I want to earn morn money” Well, how much more money? If you said, “I want to convince my boss to give me a 10 percent raise this year” that would have been a measurable goal. So you want it to be something you can measure, something that’s quantifiable, something that makes you able to know when you’ve crossed the finish line.
The fact that we don’t assign a due date is the sixth mistake.
You have to have a date by which you’re going to accomplish that goal. “I’m going to lose 35 pounds by 1st July ” There are a lot of benefits of deadlines, if we put a deadline on something, then suddenly we’re accountable for it. Sometimes, you may think there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to put a deadline on it, because you can’t foretell what’s going to happen next month or week. There are three main benefits of deadlines, precisely they create a sense of urgency, balance your workload and help you prioritize your daily tasks.
The seventh reason we fail when setting resolutions is that we don’t keep them visible.
We create the goals, we lose them in our computers, we lose them in our desk drawers, and we just don’t keep them visible. If you don’t keep them visible, you’re going to forget about them because life has a way of coming at you
faster than you can process, and you get sidetracked. You soon lose focus on what you said at the beginning of the year mattered most.
We don’t get out of our comfort zone – is the eighth mistake
If the number of things you can do without feeling anxious are few—you’ll either be anxious a lot of the time or miss out on a lot of the excitement life has to offer. Change your frame of mind. View your comfort zone not as a shelter but a prison. Don’t take the safe, known path instead choose challenge over comfort, and set goals that force you to get out of your comfort zone.
The final mistake is that we don’t make the resolutions compelling
This is important because if the goal doesn’t stimulate you, you’re not going to put he effort in to accomplish it. Compelling goals are spiritually meaningful, intellectually stimulating, emotionally, energizing, or physically challenging. Resolutions that don’t motivate you, that are just set out of a sense of duty will be quickly forgotten.