You know the drill—it’s always the same. Every New Year, millions of people get all ramped up to start the New Year off with a bang, setting all kinds of resolutions, making all sorts of promises to themselves and others, and by the beginning of February, the only thing that’s banging is their heads against the wall.
Things really shouldn’t be this way, but alas, for most of us, they are. It’s not that we don’t want to make changes in our lives, but most of us are unaware of how keying into a few old-school tactics can help us to rock a new year in with resolutions we’ll actually keep. Here’s the secret: there is no special formula; no magic wand to wave over ourselves that will transform us into rock stars that actually do what we say, and no, there isn’t a pill for it yet either.
The secret is this: it takes good old fashioned American work to succeed at anything!
It may be a New Year, but you’re the same you, and if you want to rock the New Year in with some killer success strategies that’ll stick, you have to be willing to work hard and believe you can make it happen. Here are ten strategies that will help get you on track, and keep you there:
Most people are gung-ho at the beginning of the year, all “Yippee!Go get em! Live the dream, set new goals, lose that flab, and get that makeover”, but hype won’t get you anywhere. That’s why most of us fail to do much of anything. The only thing that will work for you—whether you’re trying to lose weight, start a new business, or set new goals—is to realize that anything of value, anything that’s worthwhile takes time and perseverance to achieve. There are no shortcuts. No guts, no glory.
#2 Dig Deep
Most of us fail at keeping our resolutions because we lack passion, we’re too general in defining our goals, and we’ve had way too many failures on the front end of things. In other words, we expect to fail. To succeed, you have to dig deep and find out what’s really important to you. People who are passionate about what they’re doing don’t burn out as easily. That doesn’t mean they don’t get tired; it means they something more powerful is driving them. This could be a cause, a belief, a need, or the love of something. Find your own passion, and there will be no stopping you.
Most people who are successful pour into the lives of others. They’re generous with their time, and they want to build value for others. If you want to succeed in anything, learn to be a giver: don’t think about what’s in it for you—think about giving others what they need, and everything else will fall into place.
Don’t overlook the importance of building relationships. Whether you’re working on a new business, trying to lose weight, or trying for that promotion, relationships can provide the client base or support you need.
#5 Get Counsel
Successful people are always learning: they look to other successful people to mentor them they are teachable, and they don’t try to re-invent the wheel.
Whatever you want to do, you have to invest in it. That means time, money and plenty of effort. Buy the right food if you’re trying to lose weight and make a lifestyle change. It may be more expensive to go organic, but you’re worth it. Spend the money on that great online course by a reputable teacher; you can’t make money if you won’t invest it your own business. You have to be willing to do things others won’t do.
#7 Think Positively
We’ve heard this one forever, but how many of us actually do it? Most people aren’t aware of how their negative internal monologues affect their abilities. Start noticing what you tell yourself on a daily basis: if you’re prone to negative self-talk, learn to replace it by building positive counter-statements. For a list of thinking errors to watch out for consider this:
Nothing keeps you from reaching your goals like stinkin’ thinkin’.
#8 Write it Down
Don’t skip this exercise! Get a piece of paper and write down a list of what is motivating you to lose the weight, continue with your writing, start a blog, create a new business, or whatever else you may be wanting to do in the New Year. You can do this on 3 x 5 cards. When your motivation waxes and wanes, pull ‘em out and read them—slowly. If you want to lose weight and you’re tempted to overeat, remind yourself why this is an important lifestyle change for you. Ask yourself the following:
- How do you want to feel about yourself at the end of the day?
- Will this action help or hinder your ability to reach your goals?
- What do you need to do to re-focus on the bigger picture?
- What next steps might you need to take to do that?
- How will you plan for future obstacles?
#9 Never Give Up
Winston Churchill said this years ago, but it still holds true: when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Most successful people have seen the bottom drop out plenty of times, but they suck it up and keep going anyway. When you want to quit, just take a break, regroup and come back into it when you feel ready.
#10 Change Perspective
When trouble or difficulty arise it’s easy to get discouraged: those last ten pounds that won’t come off, the rejection of another article, or the financial hit the new business took, for example. Discouragement can lead to despair—no bueno! Try looking at the obstacles through the lens of possibility, and see your challenges as opportunities for new growth or a change of direction. If you throw the towel in, you’re done.
So, now that you’re aware of some old tried-and-true ways to make your New Year’s resolutions stick, what the heck are you waiting for? Bring in 2013 with a bang!
Back at you: What have you tried that’s helped you to turn a New Years resolution into a reality?
Featured photo credit: Umbrella woman jump and sunset silhouette via Shutterstock