Last year, I had only one goal I wanted to achieve: being a morning person. Now if you don’t consider yourself a morning person, you may be thinking “that’s a hard one!” and wondering whether I actually stuck to this unusual resolution. I did, and I’m going to share how.
At the start of a new year, we are filled with hope that comes with a bright new start, so it is wonderful to think of ways to improve and align our life with our top passions and core values. However, only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually succeed in achieving them, which comes to a 92% failure rate (the college math is paying off!).
I learned that there are three main reasons most people fail in setting New Year’s resolutions that actually stick:
- They get overwhelmed, stressed out, and burnt out because they went all in, trying to do too much too fast. Creating new habits takes time and plenty of grace.
- They get discouraged and feel defeated because they ran into an unexpected roadblock along the way to their dream.
- They get scattered and go off in all directions without making real progress toward their goal, because they don’t have a realistic plan to achieve it.
These feelings of failure chip away at our self-esteem, because we often attach our worth to the attainment of a goal or New Year’s resolutions. We feel guilty and ashamed, and sometimes give up trying again.
But there are ways to set goals and resolutions that do work and to set yourself up for success! The way to stop feeling stuck, and getting dissatisfying results is to aid yourself with the strategies, tools, and support you need to be successful.
These three New Year’s Resolutions secrets will set you up for success:
Decide to change your thinking, not your doing.
When you decide to make one single shift in your thinking, it is not as overwhelming, which helps you focus and make progress.
The key is to set a goal that changes you, not just something about you. For example, instead of changing your weight, you could set the intention to “become a healthy person.” This one single goal is easier to plan and execute, because it is not overwhelming and stated in the positive sense. It can help you make choices that are in alignment with the life you want to create, rather than being obsessed with a number and neglecting other areas of your life.
Focus on inner progress, not on outward results.
Like other plants, in order for a Chinese Bamboo Tree to grow, it needs nurturing – water, fertile soil, sunshine. In its first year, there are no visible signs of activity. In the second year, no growth above the soil. On the third and the fourth year, still nothing. And finally, in the fifth year – the Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet in just six weeks!
Sometimes we give up too soon because we are too desperate to see tangible results and fail to recognize the inner progress we are making. In achieving your dreams, you will need to trust that your efforts are helping you grow into the person you want to be, even when your scale, bank account, or what it is you are hoping to change is temporarily the same.
And if you must track, remember my mantra: progress is success. By tracking your progress, rather than measuring against a specific outcome, you are able to celebrate and give yourself some much needed grace from time to time.
Create a morning ritual to start the day off right
The road to achievement is brand new every day. Each day brings new challenges and new possibilities, so it is important to start your day in a way that will sustain your new habits.
Tony Robbins, (aff) one of my personal mentors, teaches us that the first 60 minutes of your day determine what kind of day it will be. He calls this The Power Hour, which, summarized, includes these five steps:
- Leap from bed with joy
- Contemplate and breathe
- Move your body
- Recite positive words
- Practice gratitude
These are great steps to jumpstart each day, but I’ll add two more to the list for a holistic approach:
- Fuel your body with goodness
- Feed your mind with wisdom
I love reading my Scriptures and personal development books in the morning. If reading is not your thing, you could listen to audiobooks or podcasts, go through an online course, or even watch videos. Whether your goals are centered around your health, finances, parenting, relationships, or travel, upgrading your knowledge in that area is going to get you closer to achieving your goal and give you the momentum and strength you need when the going gets tough.
To nourish your body, the importance of a healthy breakfast can’t be overstated. You will need energy to get through the day and you know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but as moms, we often put our needs last.
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This year is a big milestone in my life, and besides continuing to be a morning person, my plan is to become a fulfilled woman. I am excited about the journey and even more excited to share it with you.
Do you struggle with making your resolutions stick? When we change our thinking, focus on our progress, and create a sustainable daily plan to support you in creating a life you love. Let me know what principle was most helpful to you and share your own tips below, and on social using #spoonfulsofgoodness.