What is it you're not doing when setting your yearly resolution that is costing you a beautiful life of your design?
Many of us know what we need to do, but yet we fail. Why?
Whenever we are serious about doing something, we spend days preparing for it, be it a wedding, a holiday, or a cool idea. Yet setting resolutions over a day of excited energy is setting yourself up for failure.
I'm sharing this post in November so you have a month of preparation time before we go into the new year. Use December for clearing the yard to sow the seeds on the right foundation. Live with the goals for a month before you actually set them for real.
Having guided so many people with achieving their goals over the last 7 years, I have a few rules:
1) Lean into it
Just like you’d enjoy a free trial period before you buy anything, before you set any long term goal, try it out first!
This will help you learn your points of failing in advance. Because more than the goal itself, it's important to know what's going to come in your way while you’re pursuing it.
For example, one year when I planned to turn veg the following year, I went veg for a week before New Year’s to learn what will and will not work for me.
2) Make the goal keeping you and your lifestyle in mind
Using the same example, I had decided that when I travel I will be non veg, while the 300 days I spent in Chennai I'd be veg.
The funny part is if I said I'll be veg Tuesdays and Thursdays, that would’ve seemed more acceptable to the mind versus inside Chennai and outside Chennai. This is because no one does it that way, and our mind loves to judge anything that doesn’t seem normal.
The point is, you must make decisions not for others to praise and understand you, but decisions that excite you, that suit you.
3) Don’t set up your goals to start on the same day
The first of January is a very attractive date. But I would like you to look at will power as a muscle…build it up slowly and steadily.
For example only (I'm not in anyway a health expert):
Start with cutting out sugar, and in 2 weeks graduate to adding brown rice. At the next level give up gluten, and so on. Over a period of time you should have earned your way into your goals. Otherwise we tend to fall flat by January 7th and lament that resolutions don't work.
4) Adjust your environment to suit your goals
Don't have a fridge filled with cake and halwa and chocolates if you're goal is to give up sweets! Reduce all temptation so you can reduce your risk of failing. Be smart!
5) Have supporting smaller goals
I call these pillars. If I've decided to lose weight I can make someone at my house in charge of making a salad that is ready when I walk in the door at 6pm. That way I won't binge on the fried readymade snacks, and I can ensure I eat before going to parties so I'm not at the mercy of the food there.
These pillars are smaller goals that help you fulfil your bigger resolution.
6) Find an accountability partner
If you have someone who has the exact same goal, someone with whom you can text on a daily basis to help track each other’s progress, your chances of achieving the goal goes up big time.
One year my friend and I sent each other pics of our feet on the weighing machine daily for 90 days…silly but fun!
7) Do not restart
You are allowed to fail but you are not allowed to quit. When we fail, most of us tend to give up, deciding to restart at another date. This is a perfection problem we have.
Don't try to get your goal perfect! If it was easy you would have achieved it by now. Focus on living with the goal for the majority of the time — 90% is a good score!
You want to make lifestyle decisions, not yo-yo yourself back and forth, into and out of your goals. The more we do that, the less our mind trusts us the next time, weakening our resolve even further.
8) You don’t need to make this test any harder than it already is
I see people deciding to diet through a wedding, trying to reply to all their emails on a holiday, starting a business while pregnant; removing the joy, struggling, literally crying.
Somewhere this won't last and then we will go into guilt and shame and all those self-criticising feelings. Be careful...fun things last longer!
9) Announce your goal to a supportive group
There is a lot of confusion around who we should tell and who we should not. Choose supportive people who believe in you.
Human beings hate to disappoint others, especially those they get appreciation from. Use that to your advantage.
10) Lastly, know your why
Why do you want to achieve this goal will play a huge role in keeping you on track when you will want to most break it.
They say it's hardest to keep a commitment when the thrill in which you said it it has long evaporated. This is the time when your why will bring back the exciting reason, and the destination on how you will feel when you achieve it.
These are all points I practise for my personality type that have worked for me. Feel free to reject any that don’t suit you - remember point number 2!
I would love to hear your biggest goal for 2019 is, and how are you planning to achieve it.
No more excuses accepted—let's just do it now!