How many times in your life have you made a promise to yourself that you didn’t keep?
How many New Year’s Resolutions have you ever made that you never followed through with?
How many times have you told yourself, “I’m going to start running every day. I’m going to learn to play the piano. I’m going to learn a new language this year. I’m going to learn how to play the guitar. I’m going to learn to speak Spanish. I’m going to earn straight A’s in all of my classes this semester. I’m going to write my first book. I’m going to hit the gym five days a week every week from now on. I’m going to donate to charity more often. I’m going to launch my first business. I’m going to open up a restaurant. I’m going to quit getting in petty arguments with people. I’m going to start meditating twice a day from now on. I’m going to lose thirty pounds this year! I’m going to quit Facebook. I’m going to spend less money when I go out from now on. Or I’m going to quit drinking alcohol once and for all! ”
And after you made those promises to yourself, how many times did you actually follow through with what you said you were planning to do?
If you’re like most people, your answer is probably rarely.
But it’s nothing to feel bad about. Failing to follow through on promises we make to ourselves is a problem that the vast majority of humans struggle with.
In fact, according to a Forbes article published in 2013, 40% of Americans typically make New Year’s Resolutions each year. And of those people who make resolutions, only about 8% of them actually make good on their goals.
Only 8%! That means 92% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions every January typically fail to follow through with their promises.
But why? Why do so many people fall short when it comes to accomplishing their self-improvement goals?
The answer is: human nature.
Creating positive habit change goes against our human nature.
According to The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg, once any habit—positive or negative—gets established into our brains, it remains automatic until we make an effort to change it. And on top of that willpower—the most straightforward approach for changing yourself—gets weaker and weaker the more we use it. And more often than not, human nature tends to drag us towards the path of least resistance: the course of action that requires the least amount of effort from us.
So no matter how badly or desperately we want to change ourselves, better our lives, and accomplish our goals, human nature makes that almost impossible to do. Our nature drags us into settling for the most comfortable path rather than putting in the effort, sacrifice, and determination needed to pick the right path.
You might want to run 2 miles everyday, stop eating cupcakes, or write ten pages of your new book everyday. But sitting on the couch, watching television, and aimlessly browsing through social media timelines is your most comfortable option—the path of least resistance.
So changing those automatic negative habits and accomplish your New Year’s Resolutions is always going to be an uphill battle.
But even though it’s hard, Following Through On All Of Your Promises To Yourself is a battle worth fighting!
It’s one of those qualities that successful people all seem to have. If they say they’re going to do something, they do it. When successful people envision making a positive change or accomplishment in their lives, they give absolutely everything they have—all of their effort, determination, hard work, and discipline—to making it a reality.
Successful people are willing to go through hell to keep their promises.
If a person on a path to success promises that he’s going to build a rocket-ship that will fly us to Mars so we can start a colony there—a promise that business mogul Elon Musk has actually already made—he will spend the next 10 or 20 years of his life working his butt off to make that vision a reality if he has to.
And it’s not all about being super-determined either. There are plenty of little tricks and life-hacks you can use to help you stay faithful to your promises—life-hacks like rewarding yourself each time you make a good decision or perform the right habit; setting Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) goals; finding people to hold you accountable for your resolutions, using healthy alternatives to fill in your negative habits, and more!
The life-hacks you need to lose weight, write your first book, run a marathon, launch your business, open up your restaurant, or read a book every week are out there! You just need to find the right secret sauce for making your self-improvement goals come true.
Once you establish yourself as someone who Always Follows Through On Your Promises To Yourself, you’re going to step into a type of fulfillment, motivation, and success that most people only dream of!
Because at the end of the day, the true definition of a successful person is someone who sets out to accomplish a huge goal and does whatever it takes for as long as it takes to make that vision a reality.
It’s the gateway to greatness. You want to establish a culture in your life of Always Following Through On Your Promises To Yourself. Once you set a goal for yourself, always put in all of your effort, time, determination, hard work, and discipline to making it come true—give 120% effort every time.
And a year from now, you’ll be able to say with confidence and pride that you accomplished every resolution you envisioned for your life in 2016.
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