Do you know how long the average New Year’s Resolution lasts?
Well the research shows that on average when someone makes a promise to themselves at 12:01am on New Years day it lasts somewhere between 3 hours and 3 weeks.
It seems that we do not have much stickability to our goals at this time.
It is even worse when we return to the daily grind of life and work after a much treasured period of respite over the Christmas period. All these good intentions seem to just fly out the window.
So how do we avoid getting sucked back into this daily grind and enhance the stickability to the goals we want to achieve for our work and life?
1) Write it down
“A goal is just a dream until we write it down”. If you keep all your good ideas and your thoughts about what you want to achieve up in your head – that is exactly where they will stay. If you have a goal, write it down. We are 3x more likely to achieve a goal when we write it down, 5 x more likely to achieve a goal if we put action steps with it and 7x more likely to achieve a goal if we tell someone else about our goal to ensure accountability.
2) Habit over motivation
I tend to have a few disagreements with people I work with about what comes first – motivation or habit. Most people say to themselves, “I’ll do that when I feel motivated”. The problem is that motivation never comes and the goal never gets achieved. If we want to achieve something new or different from what we traditionally do everyday then we have to create a habit. If you want to exercise – you can’t wait until you feel motivated. You have to create a routine or habit including exercise in what you do every day and do it whether you feel motivated or not. Habit first and then motivation comes.
3) Find Your Word
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions!! What I do is pick a word every year which represents what I want to achieve. Last year my word was “Spirit”. I wanted to engage in my work and life with “spirit” and every time I engaged in an activity or set a goal for myself, I checked it against my word and all this represented for me.
This year, my word is Monkey. This is actually my Chinese Zodiac sign and I wanted to live and breathe what this represented in 2019. I want to be curious, adaptable, flexible and perseverant. So, when I set goals for myself into 2019, I will be checking them against my word.
What word will you set for yourself in 2019?
I think we have a somewhat distorted view of what resilience and mental toughness is all about. We have this view that the more we surge ahead and strive to achieve the more resilient we are. But resilience is not just about how we endure, but also about how we recharge. The very lack of a recovery period (which we often deny ourselves) is dramatically holding back our collective ability to be resilient and successful.
As Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz have written, if you have too much time in the performance zone, you need more time in the recovery zone, otherwise you risk burnout. Mustering your resources to “try hard” requires burning energy in order to overcome your currently low arousal level. This is called upregulation. It also exacerbates exhaustion. Thus, the more imbalanced we become due to overworking, the more value there is in activities that allow us to return to a state of balance. The value of a recovery period rises in proportion to the amount of work required of us.
5) What Can You Control
There is an old Chinese proverb that say:
“If you have a problem that you can control, then you don’t have a problem. And if you have a problem that you can’t control, then you also don’t have a problem”
We all have limited reserves of energy. If we are to achieve our goals, we need to worry less about the things we can’t control and consider focusing our energy on the things that ARE within our circle of influence.
Want some help setting some personal or professional goals for 2019. Contact Michelle on 0412047590 or via michelle@bakjacconsulting, or check here to review Bakjac Consulting’s website for more information.
Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.