If you set a New Year’s resolution, then you should be commended. Making changes in one’s life is not always easy. Setting new goals at the start of a year does two things:
- It creates a psychological boundary in one’s mind that can give people motivation and momentum.
- It creates an easy to measure benchmark to track one’s progress.
Although I’m all for personal development and positive change, let’s face it, statistically speaking, you are not likely to remain committed to your goal. I bring this up to flesh out some of the common areas of resistance and help you remain committed to your New Year’s resolution.
Common Areas of Resistance
Problem: Time – Most of us are so bogged down with work and other commitments that we are too busy to devote any time toward a new task. For many, their day looks something like this: wake up early, work all day, come home, handle commitments, make dinner, relax, watch some TV, then go to bed and repeat the cycle. They say things like: I’m too busy; or I just don’t have the time; or There’s just not enough time in the day…
Solution: Time management, like anything, is a skill. Perhaps you developed poor time-management skills throughout your life. Well, it’s never too late to change. There is always enough time in the day, it’s just a matter of managing your time more effectively. For instance, instead of cooking every day of the week, try cooking one day of the week, but making enough food for the entire week. Also, try canceling your cable subscription and watch your shows online. That way you don’t have to sit through the commercials and you don’t get roped into watching the following programs once your show ends.
A great way to get more time out of the day is to sleep less. Many people are not willing to do this. They prefer sleep over achieving their goals.
Problem: Laziness – Most people are lazy because they have no energy. They are lethargic, sedentary, and in-active for most of the day, which then sets a pace for the rest of their day or life.
Solution: Fuel your body with essential nutrients to give yourself more energy. Things like magnesium, vitamin B12 and vitamin E are great ways to give you more energy so you can do more things in a day. Most people do not get proper nutrition from their diet. Try eating more fruits and vegetables and avoid sugars and high-fructose corn syrup. If products like soda and chips are not in the house, you won’t feel tempted to snack on them.
Also, if you are not getting a good night sleep, try upgrading your mattress.
Problem: Procrastination – your brain rationalizes procrastination in very clever ways. It doesn’t say, “I’m never going to do this thing.” Instead it says, “I’m going to start tomorrow, or next week…” Once tomorrow or next week comes, you usually can find some legitimate reason to put the thing off for another week, month, year, or lifetime.
Solution: The key to overcoming procrastination is to create lists. A list holds you accountable and tracks your progress. For example:
- Write down realistic goals and the time frame you wish achieve them (try to keep it within a year).
- Next, write down steps you need to take to achieve those goals.
- Next, write down daily to-do lists.
- Ask yourself: how badly do I want it? What am I willing to give up to achieve my goals?
- Do the work!
Problem: Reward – Most people do things because it makes them feel good. If they do something and do not see immediate results, they quit.
Solution: Identify any gaps in your knowledge and then educate yourself. Most people who try to lose weight are not educated on the process. I would say that 90% of losing weight is from diet. Try reducing portions, eating healthy meals (fruit smoothies are a great meal substitute), and do not eat late at night. Next, do not kill yourself on the treadmill! Despite what you might believe, cardiovascular activity is a really inefficient way to lose weight. Instead, focus on weight training. This will increase your metabolism so your body burns fat even when you are resting.
In my books, The Art of the Hustle and Destiny & Free Will, I discuss how one choice or one decision can change your life. This New Years, you’ve made the choice to overcome a bad habit, pursue some endeavour, or change some other negative aspect of your life… now you just need to develop a strategy, and implement it.
Article by Edward Mullen
Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast