What if our failure isn’t down to laziness or lack of effort, but because we are going about the process all wrong?by Jessica Renae Buxbaum / January 1, 2019 / Leave a comment
What’s your 2019 New Year’s resolution? Get in shape? Quit smoking? Save money? And how long do you think it’ll last?
Most of us wouldn’t like to think we’re natural quitters, and yet around 80 per cent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. With those dismal numbers, why would anyone bother trying?
But what if our failure isn’t down to laziness or lack of effort, but because we are going about the process all wrong? What if we could turn ourselves into production experts? Thankfully, with the help of science, we actually can.
This one’s personal
Entrepreneurs and scientists agree: the first step to achieving your goal is understanding why you’re actually doing it. “Lose weight” and “reduce debt” are some of the most common resolutions, but the problem with goals like these is they’re too broad—they can apply to anyone.
Often the resolutions we fail to keep “are large and impressive, but unsustainable,” says Dr. Stephanie Stanton-Fay, a behavioural scientist at University College London.
“The resolution needs to be very specific as well as realistic to ensure the greatest chance of success—if it’s too vague it’s easier to wriggle out of.”
Multiple studies reveal individualizing your goals is the key to success. The American Psychological Association found that specific goals are 90 percent more likely to be achieved than something generic. And that inspiration comes from within. A 1996 weight loss study proved that outside pressures like family and friends are not enough to stay on track. Instead those driven by their own personal motivations succeeded in transforming their lifestyle.
You have to want it. And you have to get why you want it. Like motivational speaker Tony Robbins said, “If you want to be a part of the few that do versus the many that talk, you need to be crystal clear—what specific result will you accomplish? What’s your why?’’
Making a plan
Once you get why you’re doing something, you need to formulate a plan. A British study discovered that 91 percent of individuals were more likely to follow through with their exercise regimen when they made an action plan for it.
“Often the devil is in the detail, and a lack of plan as to how the new behaviours will work in our lives results in them not being implemented,” Stanton-Fay says.
But you can’t just plan,…