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After I Read This, I Strongly Believe That I Can Achieve My New Year’s Resolution This Time

After I Read This, I Strongly Believe That I Can Achieve My New Year’s Resolution This Time

The ball drops in Times Square.

Fireworks go off across the world.

Someone asks you about your New Year’s resolution, and as you blurt out your response, you quietly realize it’s the same resolution you set for yourself last year.

And the year before last.

And the year before last year, too.

Ouch! Why is it that achieving a New Year’s resolution is so hard?

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Well, first of all, before you start feeling bad for yourself, know that if you didn’t achieve the New Year’s resolution you set for yourself last year, or in previous years, you’re not alone. Some research shows that only 8% of people who set their resolutions actually achieve them.

Now, some experts will tell you that you achieving a resolution is hard because it’s easier to set smaller goals and work toward them daily.  Well, I’m not gonna argue with that, daily improvement is something we should all work toward.  But it’s a load of…well, you know what…to think that we shouldn’t set big goals every year and then come up with a plan to achieve them.

After all, man’s greatest achievements come from setting big goals and then working on them day in, day out, until the goal is realized.

There’s lots of things you can do to increase the chances that you’ll achieve the resolution you set for yourself, or any goal for that matter. But there’s also things you’ve probably been doing that you don’t even realize, keeps you from fulfilling your New Year’s resolution.

Here’s 7 reasons people don’t achieve their new year’s resolution. Avoid these at all costs if you want to accomplish your big goal this year.

1. They don’t really want to achieve it

If you’ve had a goal you’ve sort-of-wanted to achieve for years, but haven’t made much progress on it yet, ask yourself how bad you want to achieve it.  Achieving a big goal requires dedication, hard work, and discipline. If you don’t want to achieve it with every ounce of your being, it’s not likely you’re going to put in the time and effort needed to achieve it.

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So if you want to achieve a big goal, make sure it’s something you’re passionate about, and something you’re ready to put your heart and soul into.

2. They don’t set it, the right way

Most people set goals the wrong way. If your resolution over the years was something like “be healthier” or “make more money” or “have more energy,” you’ve set yourself up for failure.

Goals need to be structured correctly so that you’ll be able to:

  • create a specific plan
  • understand clearly whether you’re making the progress you need to get to your goal
  • know exactly when you’ve achieved it

One way to do this is to use the acronym SMART to set your resolution. Make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

If you’ve been frustrated because you haven’t made progress on a goal, or resolution, you set for yourself in the past, and your goal wasn’t ‘SMART,’ go back to the beginning and structure your goal the right way. Skip this step at your own peril.

3. They don’t create a plan

While life would be a whole lot easier if we could just ask a genie in a bottle to grant us our wishes, life doesn’t work that way.

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In order to achieve your resolution, you’ll want to set a concrete plan of action that will guide you to your goal. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or rigid, but it does need to have set steps you can take that will get you in the right direction.

4. They don’t track their progress

New Year’s resolutions aren’t meant to be set in January and reviewed again in December. Nope, if you want to achieve your resolution, you’ll want to track your progress throughout the year so you’ll know whether you’re on target to achieve your goal.

It’s a good idea to set up daily, weekly and monthly tracking so you’ll see whether you’re on target to achieve your resolution, or whether you need to adjust your plan.

5. They don’t adjust their plan

Tracking your progress is pointless unless you adjust your plan so you’ll make the progress you need. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds this year, and you’ve only lost 5 pounds after 3 months, it’s time to adjust your plan…otherwise you’re going to fall short of your big goal.

6. They make excuses

“I hurt my knee so I couldn’t exercise”.

“My boss promoted someone else, so I couldn’t make any more money.”

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“I would quit smoking if I wasn’t so stressed”.

We all make excuses. Heck, making excuses is the easy thing to do when we’re falling short of our target. But excuses are toxic on our path to achieving our goals.

If you want to achieve your resolution, kick excuses to the curb. Instead of telling yourself why you’re not making the progress you should be making, ask yourself how you can get to your goal faster.

Your brain is a brilliant machine and you’ll get the right answer no matter what question you ask it. Make sure you’re asking the right questions.

7. They don’t believe they can achieve it

Belief is a funny thing. Give two similar people the same goal, and it’s the person who believes they can achieve it, who will.  If you don’t believe you’ll achieve your resolution, no advice or tools are going to help you.

But if you do believe in yourself, and that you’ll achieve your New Year’s resolution, there’s nothing that can stop you.

So, Happy New Year and here’s to achieving the goals you set for yourself in 2014!

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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