It’s the first week of January and that means people everywhere will be thinking about their annual New Year’s resolutions. But for most, by February, these goals will be nothing more than a memory to revisit at the beginning of next year. How can you make your 2016 resolutions a reality?
Steve Siebold, a psychological performance and mental toughness coach, who is author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class, offers this advice:
- It’s all or nothing: It sounds harsh, but 99% compliance is failure. You either go after your goals with 100% effort, or don’t bother trying. You wouldn’t cheat on your spouse in a committed relationship, so don’t cheat on something as important as your resolutions.
- It’s not about winning, but wanting to win that counts. Winners have a “whatever it takes” attitude. They’ve made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory.
- Expect the obstacles. Most people run into a challenge or obstacle and seek immediate escape. Have a plan to push forward when this happens. If you’re not ready to suffer during adversity, you’re not going to be successful. You need to know going in that making a change is going to be hard work, not a walk in the park.
- Don’t focus on how to do it, but rather, why should I do it? Why do I want this goal to become a reality? The intensity of emotion with which this question is answered will determine whether the dream comes alive or dies.
- Get really clear about what you want to change. Vagueness doesn’t work with goal setting. Don’t just say “I want to lose weight,” but get really specific and say, “By March 1, I want to lose 15 pounds. I’m going to eat well, exercise each day and get really committed to doing this once and for all.”
- Set a timeline. Setting a timeline helps avoid procrastination. The way the mind works, a timeline gives you something to strive for.
- Focus on your self-talk. Be careful what you say to yourself, because your thoughts dictate your behavior. In fact, 77% of what we say to ourselves is negative, so don’t give into the negative thoughts that the goal is impossible. Keep asking yourself, “How can I make this happen?”
- Seeing is believing: A vision board helps keep you motivated because it helps you see the end result of the goal you’re trying to achieve. If you want to lose weight, for example, cutout pictures of really fit people and tape them on a poster board. Hang the vision board in a very visible location. This will reinforce the goals into your subconscious and help you push forward on those tough days. You can also write a letter describing your life to a friend detailing the way you want things to be a year from now. Read the letter anytime you need a lift-me-up.
- Get an accountability buddy. One of the biggest problems is that most people have no means of accountability or a support system in place. Go after your goals with a partner who really makes you push yourself. Even better, find someone who has already achieved what you are setting out after and have them coach you.
- Ignore the naysayers: There will be people who say you can’t do it and that you should just leave well enough alone. Drop your addiction to the approval of others, ignore them and keep pushing forward. Achieving world-class success in anything means believing in yourself no matter what others think or say.