Well it’s about that time for New Year’s resolutions…will you set them for 2020? I have heard many people say recently that they don’t set resolutions because they don’t think there’s any point. They are giving up before they even start! A poll taken by author Stephen Shapiro and the Opinion Corporation of Princeton, NJ, revealed some very interesting statistics: 45% of Americans usually set New Year’s Resolutions; 17% infrequently set resolutions; 38% absolutely never set resolutions. Out of the people who do set resolutions, only 8% of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions each year, 19% achieve their resolutions every other year, 49% have infrequent success, and 24% NEVER succeed and have failed on every resolution every year. That means that 3 out of 4 people almost never succeed! So, if you are in the almost half of people that set resolutions but you haven’t always been successful at completing them, how do you overcome these numbers?
The first step is understanding why you are making the resolutions in the first place. I recently had a conversation with someone about vision boards and making new ones each year. Her objection to making a new board is that she has the same one every single year and she only had one thing to change about it-taking off her new home she purchased in 2019. The problem is that she has been recycling her goals. It would be much better to look deeper into why she has been setting the same goals year after year and missing them, than to just repeat the process and getting the same results. Once you understand why you are making those choices over and over again, it’s easier to change the habits that are holding you back. You have to apply the correct mindset to back up the resolution and be very specific about what it is that you want. Seeing yourself in the picture of what you want is key. You have to know who you will be when you attain your goal, what it will look like and feel like, and how your life will improve. I use several techniques in Hypnotherapy where you can envision your future self and step into who you will become to see how life will be different over the next week, month, and year when you reach your potential.
Second, I suggest starting small. One pitfall I see a lot of my clients having struggled with in the past regarding resolutions is setting too many or making their resolution too big for them to reasonably achieve. The most popular resolutions have to do with health or weight, self-improvement, finances, quitting smoking, spending quality time with family, learning something new, doing more good deeds, and finding love. Let’s take self-improvement as an example. Instead of going from no meditation to an hour each day, start small with 10 minutes every day and work your way up. If you want to get debt free, start by just increasing your minimum payments by a small amount. Give yourself achievable milestones so you can celebrate the small wins along the way. Also, set goals based on what you REALLY want, not just something superficial. Yes, you may want to lose weight, but WHY do you want that? Is it to be healthier by stabilizing your blood sugar and cholesterol, have more energy, and ultimately live a longer and happier life with your loved ones? Focusing on the why behind the what will keep you motivated far beyond the 2nd week in January when most people start giving up on their resolutions. Another tip is to not set resolutions that you will attach guilt, shame or frustration to when you do slip up along the way. Remember that each time you fall back into an old habit, you learn something important about yourself that you can use to help keep you on the right path. Figure out what triggered the slip and use it to help you more forward. It’s not failure, it’s just a minor set back that gives you more information to help you reach that ultimate goal. Make sure to set no more than three to five goals and not more than one focus per area of your life-personal, relationship, health, finance, social, spiritual-so that you aren’t overwhelmed by the things you need to keep track of and the changes you are making. And above all, make sure that your resolutions are consistent with your core values. If what you are doing is inconsistent with your belief system, it will become a major issue.
Next, you need to get to know yourself and how you tick. Do you work best with a checklist and a schedule? Or does that make you feel bad when you are behind and don’t get things done right on time? Perhaps a list will work but not a timeline. Do you need an accountability partner and deadline to help you stay on track? Look at when you have been successful in the past. What contributed to that success? When you are looking back, don’t fall into the trap of thinking about all the times you didn’t achieve what you wanted. Forgive yourself and remember that you are in the process of growing and changing, becoming who you want to be. Shift your perspective from what went wrong to what you have learned about that experience that can help you move forward now.
Finally, find your purpose. So many of my Hypnotherapy clients come to me because they want to discover their soul’s true purpose in life. When you know your true purpose, you will be able to move past obstacles and anything that gets in the way of reaching your potential and becoming who you want to be in 2020. Be grateful for that you already have now and all that you have done, and the lessons you have learned. Accessing the power of your purpose will help you grow your confidence and set you will on the right path to rock those resolutions this year!
*Of those who do set resolutions (these add up to more than 100% because some people set multiple resolutions):
34% set resolutions related to money
38% set resolutions related to weight
47% set resolutions related to self-improvement or education
31% set resolutions related to relationships
*It appears that the younger you are, the more likely you are to achieve your resolutions:
39% of those in their twenties achieve their resolutions every year or every other year
Less than 15% of those over 50 achieve their resolutions every year or every other year
*The less happy you are, the more likely you are to set New Year’s Resolutions. This is especially true for those who set money-related resolutions:
41% are not happy
34% are moderately happy
25% are happy
There is no correlation between happiness and resolution setting/success. People who achieve their resolutions every year are NO happier than those who do not set resolutions or who are unsuccessful in achieving them. Do you see yourself in any of the categories above? The key is to make a firm decision, an unwavering commitment, and then make
choice toward a healthier lifestyle, while making sure not to look at it as depriving yourself or a sacrifice. If you slip, instead of viewing it as a failure, look at the setback as a learning experience just more information to help you move forward toward your goals.
If you’d like to explore further what having the support of a mental wellness coach looks like, let’s talk.