How to actually achieve a New You this New Year

When I hear the familiar refrain “I don’t do resolutions. They never work.” I feel bad for that person. Through no fault of their own, they’d been burned having previously bought into the New Year’s Resolutions. If they were attempting to keep resolutions without tieing it to a specific goal, choosing a new identity, and making room for new habits then they didn’t stand a chance.

Tell me your PROBLEMS

It all starts with identifying and analyzing the PROBLEM. Think about your struggles, your aggravations, your aspirations, your bad habits, your performance gaps. Before you go making goals for every irritation, assess it’s change potential. Is there something:

  • harmful you’re doing that you should Eliminate?
  • that’s working that you should Keep?
  • about the problem that you just need to Accept?
  • you can Create to make the problem better?

From the Create and potentially the Eliminate section is where you’ll find potential goals.

What are your GOALS

Picture yourself in a department store. Your problem is the realization that you need to get on a higher floor. The GOAL is defining what reaching that “next level” looks like. Goals should be slightly out of reach. Your goal is not a task. For instance, taking the SAT is not a goal. Score 1300 on the SAT by Aug 2019 is a goal. Going to the gym 3x a week is not a goal (it’s a resolution). Lose 25 lbs by May 31st is a goal. Goals reflect the specific measurable results that signals that you’ve solved your initial problem.

Goals are measurable indications that you’ve reached the next level.

What do you RESOLVE to do about it

With your goals identified, you must decide, commit, resolve to perform certain actions to get you to your goal. Back in the department store, resolutions are the escalator that will get you from your current level to that next level. Oh by the way, the escalator is going down instead of up. This is what most who say resolutions don’t work for them fail to realize – resolutions are new habits and habit change is HHAAAAARRRDDD. There are several things to consider when changing habits which I explain in Rethinking Resolutions. You first chose the identity of the person who’s at that next level, understand what motivates you and adjusting your environment to make the habit change easier.

None of these are in fact resolutions…3 require dates be to decent goals.

The other key is understanding that resolutions ARE NOT one time tasks. They are daily/weekly commitments. There is a regular cadence to them that enable them to become habits. For example, going to the gym 3x a week is a resolution. Signing up for a gym membership is a task. Studying 1 hour a day for the GMAT is a resolution. Signing up for or taking the GMAT is a task.

The bottom line is that to get better, you’re going to have to do better. When you do better, you will eventually be better. Being better begins with understanding your Problem, formulating your Goals and committing to your Resolutions. All three are needed to produce the need habit change necessary to bring about that New You this New Year.