“Life is a marathon, not a sprint…. So don’t rush things. Anything worth having is worth waiting for.” – anonymous.
Ah yes- patience. A quality we all wish we had more of. This last resolution killer is a no brainer but one we are all guilty of it at some point in our lives. We get excited about a new relationship, a new fitness class, or a beautiful new pair of heels…. And then it backfires. We smother our new significant other so much they start ignoring our texts, we end up with shin splints from too many jump squats or we develop painful blisters from wearing our favorite new heels too often. In a society that tells us more is better, there is no surprise that many people decide to go full throttle into their new years resolution and completely over haul every area of their life and then consequently quit premature of reaching their goal.
As discussed earlier goals are made up of systems that require the formation of new habits or behaviors. Research has shown that when people try to change a single behavior at a time, the likelihood that they’ll retain that habit for a year or more is better than 80%. When they try two behaviors, their chances of success are less than 35%. When they try three behaviors or more, their success rate plummets to less than 5%. Knowing this, it is no wonder so many resolutions are so short lived.
The solution? Pick one habit to change per month. Yes, just one. I know what you are thinking and no, it will not take you forever to reach your goals at just one change per month. You can chose any habit you want but it is best to pick the one you think will have the greatest impact on reaching your goal. For inspiration lets look a Leo Babauta, the best selling author of The Power of Less.
Over the last 2 years Leo has quit smoking, went from a non-runner to running marathons, became a vegetarian, tripled his income, wrote a novel and a non-fiction book and eliminated his debt. And no, Leo is not a man without any personal obligations. In fact, he has 6 kids. So in fact if he can do it, you can too.
So to recap the 4 resolution killers:
Relying on motivation
Focusing on the goal and not the system
Being unrealistic about your strengths and weaknesses
Not pacing yourself
Be smart about your goal setting this New Year and don’t fall victim to these sneaky little buggers. Tomorrow is New Years Eve. Take some time to write out your plan and share it with someone. It is time to get excited for what the New Year holds for you! You have all the power to make the best possible version of you and it all starts with a single step. Best wishes to a happy and healthy 2014! CHEERS!