It’s not going to come as news to you when I say that most New Year’s Resolutions are made with the best intentions to improve life, but rarely followed through on.
In fact, a study done by Scranton University found that, just 8% of people successfully achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.
So what’s the reason for so much failure with these goals of personal improvement? Simple, the resolution is made using feelings and actions.
You FEEL like you want to change, so you attempt to alter your ACTIONS.
It took me year,s to figure out how to set real behavior change goals that stick. I read books, watched videos, and attended classes and speeches about personal development. Each had a small impact, but once I discovered the reason that most change efforts fail, including nearly all of mine, and where to refocus these efforts so they actually have a lasting impact, things started to fall into place, and I began to reach my goals.
This tactic had a huge impact on my life as I started taking action on moving towards my goals, and I turned New Year’s Resolutions into habits that I follow through on daily.
I’m going to teach you how to use this one simple goal setting technique so you too can craft your life the way you want it go!
First though, let’s get something straight….
New Year’s is Not Real
There is no such thing as New Year’s Day. We (human beings) made it up. Just like there is no such thing as Monday, or no such thing as January. It’s all made up. All these concepts only exist as concepts because of the words. Language creates our world, and a very long time ago human beings used language to pick a day to start counting. From that point they did math on the length of time that it takes the Earth to travel around the Sun, and divided it up into 12 parts, and called it a calendar. It was decided that December 31st would be the end of this year, and January 1st would be the beginning of the next year. There you have it, language creating something from nothing!
Just because it’s made up doesn’t mean it’s not EXPLOITABLE
So New Year’s is made up. So what. It feels VERY real to just about every person on Earth. That feeling of being able to “start fresh” comes with the calendar turning to 1-1. I get it too. Our brains are tricked into thinking that something new is upon us, and we can’t help but feel a certain amount of motivation to improve. Here’s the truth – Motivation ain’t cheap! When you encounter some, exploit it to help you out!
Whether you are an individual that sets ambitions New Year’s Resolutions yearly, or if you’re a person that refuses to set them because they don’t work anyways, this next part is worth reading!
Here’s Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Fail
Here is why our New Year’s Resolutions fail, or more accurately, how we fail to properly set New Year’s Resolutions.
If you make a pyramid, divide it into two parts, and label the bottom layer “Actions”, and the top layer “Results”, you’d be looking at a diagram for how we treat our goals. Or to use different words that are more scientific, you’d label the the two parts, “cause” and “effect”
Now when you go to set New Year’s Resolutions, we are setting them in the section of “actions” . We think, change the behavior, and you’re going to change the results right? I mean it’s simple cause and effect.
Stop eating bad, be healthy.
Start working out, be thinner.
Start read more, get wiser.
This list could be endless. And all these resolutions are going to fail. Here’s why…
There’s one more piece of the pyramid that’s missing. And it’s the most important part. It’s the base!
Core Values are the Base, Actions align with them, and cause new Results.
Core Values form the base of the Pyramid because, if it’s not important to us, then it will never get into our habits, and that certainly applies to New Year’s Resolutions! We can’t change something with lasting effect, it that thing isn’t aligned in our values.
Here’s a perfect analogy of Core Values stopping a behavior change before it even starts.
The other day, A store manager that I was working with was going outside to smoke a cigarette. A Co-Worker started nagging them that they should quit. The smoker shrugged and said “Yeah, I know…”. Before the non-smoker could respond, I interrupted and asked the smoker a simple question; “Do you want to quit smoking?” Her answer was perfect. She said, “No, I love smoking.” So I turned to the co-worker and said, “Save your time, you’re not going anywhere with this conversation if she doesn’t WANT to quit. When she does, then she will.”
If HEALTH isn’t in your personal values, then you can’t change any behavior that aligns with heath. Smoking, eating a clean diet, exercising regularly, all those things will be failed attempts as goals or New Year’s Resolutions since you don’t have values that align with the changed behavior.
The One Place to Start for Behavior Change
So when you make your New Year’s Resolutions, start here; with your Core Values!
This is one of my favorite exercises, and one that you can do in 10-15 minutes.
Here’s our FREE Core Values Discovery Download.
This exercise is to explore your Core Values. The ones that exist, not what you think you can make them, and not what they will be with your resolutions. What are they NOW?
You can’t say “health” if you eat fast food and soda for two meals a day
You can’t say “fitness” if you workout for one week a year; Jan 2nd to Jan 8th
You can’t say “personal growth” if the last book you read was in high school english class
What’s actually in there? What do you care about so deeply in life that the thought of living without them is unthinkable?
Integrity? Family? Competitive Nature? Creativity? Self Discipline? Fun? Travel?
Click here to see what the Origin Leadership Group Core Values are.
Now that you have a grasp on what your personal Core Values are, you can begin to align your goals and aspirations to them. Set some meaningful New Year’s resolutions now! When you set the goals, set them as SMART goals.
Specific – Be exact about what you want to achieve
Measurable – A system to track progress
Attainable – Don’t shoot for the stars if you aren’t an astronaut
Relevant – Has to align with your Core Values
Time Bound – “I don’t need more time, I just need a deadline”
I’m Just not a Meathead
Here’s a funny personal example of how setting goals that are out of alignment with Core Values are just going to lead to failure.
I’m a small dude. 5’9.5″ (and I WANT my half inch!) at 145 pounds. I workout 6-7 days a week, lifting weights for three of those days, but I’m never going to get big muscles. It’s just not something that I value. If I could get big muscles doing what I’m doing now, I’d take them, GLADLY. But to work harder and longer in the home gym moving iron to develop them? To change the way I eat and take different supplements to get big? Nah, I’m good like this!
Obviously Fitness is one of my Personal Core Values though. To eat as clean as I do, and workout every day takes little effort. The thought of not doing those things just makes life less enjoyable.
So what are your Personal Core Values?
More importantly, what are your New Year’s Resolutions?
Let us know in the comments!!