In 6 months, 46% of people will give up on their resolutions. How about you?
Still have the motivation you had on December 31st?
Here we are, two weeks into the New Year. Are you still working toward those resolutions? If you are, good for you! For the rest of us, how in the world are we supposed to stay motivated for the next 11 ½ months? According to www.statisticbrain.com, while 75% of people maintained their resolutions through the first week, the numbers go down the more time goes by. After two weeks, only 71% of people kept their resolutions, after one month it drops to 64%, and past six months it falls to only 46%.
I’ve had a few resolutions on my list in years past. And while I have found some pretty good strategies, I still need to work relentlessly each day on winning with my goals – especially the really big ones (like finishing P90X3)! So how do we stay motivated and stay in the game long enough to win? Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or another goal you’ve found important enough to set for yourself, it all boils down to motivation. I don’t know if I have the “secret sauce” to making resolutions stick, but I tell you what I do know. There are things out there that can definitely suck the motivation right out of you, and I’ll share with you my top 5. Avoid these things, and mark my words – your odds for success will go way up!
1) No specific “WHY”
The first motivation sucker is not having a clear enough reason for doing it in the first place. Most people just make a blanket statement that sounds more like a wish than an actual goal with a plan attached to it. Try changing “I want to save more money” to “I will spend less than I make every month so I can get out of debt and can finally pay cash for a new car.” Does your goal/dream have a good reason to exist? Is there a purpose for striving toward it? Is your “why” big enough? If not, you’re likely to lose interest pretty fast.
2) Getting too far off-track
This happens even with the best of intentions – but don’t let life’s little setbacks give you permission to fail. You only fail when you QUIT! Try making a rule that allows for this occasional de-railing. For example, I have a goal of working out each day. When I miss a couple of days in a row, I don’t beat myself up over it. I stick to my “2-day rule”… I never go more than 2 consecutive days without some kind of exercise. That way, if I slip up, I don’t sweat it (no pun intended). I get right back in my routine and get back on track. So give yourself a little grace and just promise yourself to get back to it – today!
3) Listening to the haters
OK, maybe your co-workers, family, and friends don’t actually HATE you, but a lot of the time when you’re working toward something that others only WISH they had the strength to achieve, you’ll get silly looks, get laughed at, or worse. Who cares? Not me! I had broke friends laugh at the fact that I was on a “debt diet” while they busted through their credit limits and I had to cut back on the “fun stuff” paying cash only for what I could afford. As far as I know, they are still driving their fancy cars and up to their eyeballs in debt. Another note on those haters – be clear with the people in your life if you are working on a goal. Tell them your goals and ask them not only for their support, but also to hold you accountable. Maybe they’ll one day figure out they need a change, too. Of course you won’t say, “I told you so”… you’ll help them gladly, because you know how hard it was to get there.
4) You’re just “winging it”
When it comes to money goals, weight loss, or trying to kick a bad habit, having a plan is imperative for success. Schedule time to work toward your goals. A monthly budget meeting with your spouse (or yourself), a daily workout calendar, an accountability call from a best friend, whatever works for you – do that thing. But do have a plan, and stick to it!
5) Sabotaging your own success
There’s no worse motivation sucker than that negative voice we hear sometimes in our head, but if we want to win at our goals, we just can’t let the fear or insecurity behind that voice become our “normal”. If you’ve been one to rationalize, make excuses, or otherwise talk yourself out of the life you deserve, it’s about time you change that line of thinking! Try this little exercise. Write down (or copy/paste) these four sentences, filling in the blanks with the first thing that comes to mind:
- Successful people are __________________.
- Once I [insert goal achieved here], my friends will say ________________.
- My dream hasn’t come true because _________________.
- Change is hard because ____________.
After you fill in the blanks, look back at the completed sentences. Are the statements more negative or more positive? If they are negative, you need to turn your language around. Re-insert words that will make the statements positive, and then post these somewhere you will see them everyday. Be patient with yourself, though. That voice inside your head that tries to talk you out of your dream probably took years to get there and is not going to be silenced overnight. Eventually, though, you’ll start walking on the positive side of life a lot more often than not. Before you know it you’ll be meeting your goals and then some!
So how are you doing staying motivated with your goals?
Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits… ~Ghandi