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What to Do With Your Broken New Years Resolutions

What to Do With Your Broken New Years Resolutions

By now, it’s entirely likely that your New Years Resolutions are as cold and lifeless as a puppy on Pluto.

You’re not alone. Some 88% of resolutions are destined not to make it anywhere near success, even if you start out with the best of intentions on January 1st. It’s simple to make resolutions year after year; tempting even. You want things to change, you want something better, and the start of a brand new year seems like the perfect time to start and stop all of that “stuff”.

But New Years Resolutions are systemically flawed, and it’s hardly surprising they end up broken and discarded like an old sofa when you consider that they’re normally one of these 3 things:

  • Something you think you should probably stop doing, because it might be “bad”
  • Something you think you should probably start doing, because it’s generally perceived as “good”
  • Something that’s fuelled by guilt or shame, whether it’s something you’ve done or not done

I don’t know about you, but none of those 3 things seems like a good reason to do anything to me.

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Go about a decision with any one of these drivers and you’ve failed before you’ve even started.

Making your decisions based on what popular opinion says you should do or because that’s what your peers are doing seems crazy, right? But you still do it.

Committing to something because a part of you feels like you maybe, kinda, sorta, oughta do it is really just fooling yourself that you’re taking action. But you still do it.

And let’s not dwell too long on the choices you make because it’s what’s expected of you—or perhaps even what you expect of you—which leads to a life of survival, not of living. But you still do it.

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You do these things because they carry zero risk and require minimal effort. They’re easy. And they don’t need you to take a stand in your life.

So what to do instead? What to do with those broken New Years Resolutions? How about trying this.

Start playing.

Playing a great game of tennis, Pictionary, chess or anything else requires you to:

  • Show up
  • Play at your best, even though you don’t know how the game will play out
  • Practice, so you can get better

So pick a game that matters to you.

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Play it because it matters you. Engage with it because it fascinates you, because it might be bloody good fun or because something extraordinary might happen.

Play a game that matters because not playing isn’t an option, because you want the texture of experience that only comes from engaging or because you want to learn to be a great participant.

Play, because you just might win.

Don’t mourn your New Years Resolutions or think less of yourself for not nailing them. Toss them in the trash like a week old, half eaten burrito that you didn’t really want anyway.

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Then make a new choice.

A new choice based on who you are and what really matters to you.

A choice that not only brings the game to life, buts get you in the arena.

Ready to play?

 

More by this author

Steve Errey

Steve is a confidence coach who helps leaders build confidence.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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