2016 is here.
It’s the beginning of January—the month where everyone optimistically heads out to the gym to stay true to their plans to workout five times a week only to give up on their goals at some point before the year’s end. It’s the time of the year when lots of people set epic plans to make huge changes to their lives. But most of the time they never follow through.
According to a Forbes article from 2013, only about 8 percent of people who set New Year’s Resolutions are typically successful.
Perhaps you’ve been one of those people before. If we’re going to be honest, all of us have probably been one of those people at some point or other in our lives.
But this year, things are going to be different. Because you’re going to jump into 2016 with 5 secrets for making your resolutions a reality.
5 Ways To Make All Of Your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions Come True:
#1- Set SMART Resolutions -> Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound
As I described in my blog post from two days ago about 5 Reasons Why We Give Up On Our New Year’s Resolutions, one of the worst goal-setting mistakes that people make is Setting Vague Or Unrealistic Goals.
Because it’s impossible to get what you want, if you don’t know what you actually want!
To make your deepest desires, dreams, goals, plans, ambitions, and New Year’s Resolutions come true, you first have to define them as clearly, specifically, and precisely as possible. You have got to get clear on what you want.
Because you will never be able to win the race if you don’t know what your destination is. You must have a clear vision of exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.
So when you’re visualizing your epic plans to change your life in 2016, don’t forget to use the SMART criteria for all of your resolutions. Make sure that each of your goals is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Don’t aim to “run more often.” Aim to “run 2 miles every day for the next twelve months.” Don’t aim to “help more people.” Aim to “donate to the homeless at least twice a week.” Don’t aspire to simply “become more successful.” Aim to “accomplish more success by the end of the year by earning three awards each quarter.” And don’t shoot for “losing fifty pounds.” Start with something more realistic like “losing twenty pounds.”
Half the battle of making your New Year’s Resolutions come true is setting your goals as clearly, specifically, and correctly as possible. If you use the SMART criteria to set a crystal clear vision for what you’re planning to accomplish in 2016, you are going to be ten times more likely to succeed from day one.
#2- Split Your Big Resolutions Into Smaller Steps With Deadlines
One of the main reasons we procrastinate is because huge, important, and overwhelming goals with big workloads often intimidate us from ever getting started. To cope with the anxiety we feel about getting started, we procrastinate.
Maybe you want to write a 200-page novel for the first time, travel to five different countries in one year, learn a different language, learn a new instrument, or get accepted into Harvard Business School. But this goal of yours is so huge, important, life-changing, time-consuming, and overwhelming that you don’t know where to start. And each time you think about starting, you resort to procrastination instead to cope with your anxiety.
If this sounds like a cycle of self-sabotage that you’ve been through before, I’ve got good news for you: you don’t have to feel anxious, intimidated, or overwhelmed by your huge goals. You don’t have to procrastinate. There’s an easy way out.
All you have to do is Split Your Big Resolutions Into Smaller Steps With Deadlines.
If writing 200 single-spaced pages of your novel intimidates you, split that huge resolution up into a series of smaller, less overwhelming goals like writing 5 pages per week. If learning an entire language scares you, try picking up on two new phrases per day instead. If losing twenty pounds frightens you, try making it feel less intimidating by losing two pounds per month.
Splitting Your Big Resolutions Into Smaller Steps With Deadlines is not only going to make your journey to Making All Of Your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions Come True more manageable, less stressful, and more fun, but it will also instill you with confidence, motivation, and discipline as you accomplish each of the smaller steps along the way.
#3- Use Healthy Alternatives To Fill In For Your Negative Habits
In my December 30th blog post about 5 Reasons Why We Give Up On Our New Year’s Resolutions, I described how Creating Positive Habit Change Is Hard because our brains make our habits automatic, sheer willpower only works until a certain point, Comfort Is Easier Than Change, and our close ones sometimes disagree with our new direction in life.
There’s a lot of obstacles standing in between you and where you want to be by the end of 2016. But there’s also lots of strategies and secrets out there that can help you overcome those sticking points.
One of the most powerful ways to create positive habit-change is by Using Healthy Alternatives To Fill In For Your Negative Habits.
In The Power Of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains that once a bad habit is established in your mind, it never fully goes away. So no matter how much time passes after you smoked your last cigarette, those cues, anxieties, and temptations that always suckered you into smoking cigs will always be there. That cue that used to trigger your addiction—that person, that group of people, that place, that time, that smell, that sight, that thought, that thing—will always be a source of temptation for you.
Because once you accept a habit into our life—healthy or unhealthy, life-supporting or self-destructive—it’s always there.
So the only way to truly beat your addictions is by replacing them with healthy alternatives that respond to the same cues and offer you the same rewards as your unhealthy habits without any of the negative side effects. You need to Use Healthy Alternatives To Fill In For Your Negative Habits.
Once you find an empowering and healthy replacement that boosts your happiness instead of draining it, you’re going to step into your new addiction-free lifestyle with no regrets, no stress, and no downgrade in your quality of life.
#4- Reward Yourself Each Time You Make Progress On Your Resolutions
Using immediate rewards to train yourself to repeat certain habits is a powerful trick for creating positive change in your life.
In Awaken The Giant Within, Tony Robbins calls it “The Law of Reinforcement.” He says: “Any pattern of emotion or behavior that is continually reinforced will become an automatic and conditioned response. Anything we fail to reinforce will eventually dissipate. We can reinforce our own behavior or someone else’s through positive reinforcement, that is, every time we produce the behavior we want, we give a reward. That reward can be praise, a gift, a new freedom, etc.”
To establish a positive habit into your life, you must make sure to always reward yourself directly after you perform that desired habit. Eventually the habit you’re looking to establish will become automatic. But in order to get to that point, you have to reward yourself with something you love immediately after it happens. The reward can be anything you enjoy from watching a movie or a television show, to eating a certain food, to spending time with a closed one.
As I said before, you should Split Your Big Resolutions Into Smaller Steps With Deadlines. And then reward yourself each time you complete one of those smaller steps.
Don’t forget to Reward Yourself Each Time You Make Progress On Your Resolutions. Over time, you’re going to establish the work ethic, motivation, dedication, diligence, and discipline necessary to get the job done.
#5- Find People In Your Life To Hold You Accountable To Your Resolutions!
As I explained in 5 Reasons Why We Give Up On Our New Year’s Resolutions, Failing To Ask People To Hold You Accountable To Your Resolutions is a deadly mistake. Because if you don’t tell anyone about your plans to change your life in 2016, no one is going to be there to hold you accountable to your resolutions.
And if no one’s there to hold you accountable, it’s going to be very easy for you to just give up.
But if the whole world is holding their breath waiting for you to make your dreams reality, giving up will cease to be an option. Telling others about your resolutions will give you no choice but to succeed. Because no one enjoys that embarrassment of disappointing other people.
So in order to give yourself the best shot at success, you’ve got Find People In Your Life To Hold You Accountable. Tell your mother, father, brothers, and sisters about your New Year’s Resolutions! Tell your friends! Tell your coworkers! If you’re really serious about making this happen, tell everybody you know!
I’ll even go as far as to say you should announce your resolutions on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Because knowing that people are expecting you to succeed is going to motivate you to work ten times harder to get your goals accomplished.
For more blog post about making your goals come true in 2016, stay tuned to MuchokiMotivation.com. And make sure to sign up for our weekly mailing list for updates!