by Michael Plank
It’s just about that time of year!
“New Year, New You.”
“It’s YOUR year.”
“THIS year will be different.”
We’ve been in this game for awhile now and have worked with literally hundreds of people on goals and resolutions over the last six years. Here’s the bad news right up front: roughly 80% of New Year’s Resolutions don’t last more than 6 weeks. But the good news is that it’s not that hard to be in the 20% that make it beyond that! Here’s how to do it:
1) PICK A RESOLUTION
One. Not two. Not five. Not nine. Pick one resolution. I’ve been in the lots-of-resolutions camp and started many January 1sts with 15 minutes of meditation, 10 minutes of mobility, 4 meals that were all prepped and pre-packed, 5 minutes of journaling, a strenuous workout, prayer, scripture reading, more journaling before bed, and 8 hours of sleep. Guess how long that lasts? (I’ll give you a hint – you’ve got an 80% chance of being right). If the goal of a resolution is to make your life better, set yourself up for success by making it easy to focus. Pick one thing and it’ll be way easier to stay on track and not get overwhelmed by your new 14-step, 2-hour routine. One thing.
2) PICK THE BEST DOABLE OPTION
Avoid the Best Theoretical Option. Here’s what I mean: If you want to get more control over your in 2021, the Best Theoretical Option might be to work out 5 days a week, do 1-on-1 nutrition coaching, hire a house cleaner, hire an organizer, and start reading about personal finance and productivity. Great. But that’s a lot. You know what’s not a lot? Making your bed. But will coming home to a made bed at the end of the day move you one step closer to feeling like your life is under control? Yes. And would you actually be willing to spend 30 seconds in the morning do it? You probably would. Don’t pick the best thing that you could do (the Best Theoretical Option). Pick the best thing that you actually would do (the Best Doable Option). Remember that the goal is to move the needle, not to wake up on January 1st to a perfect life.
3) GET HELP
Get a friend who has a similar approach to progress (not necessarily a similar goal). Get an accountability buddy. Find social media groups for people doing what you’re doing. Read books, listen to podcasts. Best of all, hire a professional – someone who specializes in what you want to accomplish. For physical health, find a coach. For mental health, find a therapist. For spiritual health, find a clergy person or advisor. Or hire a guitar teacher, or writing coach! The point is to find someone who knows how to help people improve in the area that you are pursuing.
Remember that perfection is a myth. The route to real, lasting change is slow, maybe, but it’s steady. Ending 2022 a single step beyond where you are right now is progress that counts and is worth making. Progress is the magic.
Here’s to a 2022 that’s chock full of it!