This morning I went out for my morning walk and I was shocked by how many people were also out walking. Usually, I don’t see very many people on the sidewalks and trails that I walk. Then I remembered that it was January in sunny Florida. All the people that had set a New Year’s Resolution to get fit this year were out in full force.
As I walked, I contemplated the difference between habits vs. goals vs new year’s resolutions. Most of us set New Year’s Resolutions that we do not keep. The only time I recall being able to keep my resolutions was the year in college when I stated that my New Year’s Resolutions were to drink more champagne, eat more chocolate, and take more bubble baths. I was pretty successful with keeping those three resolutions. Yes, they brought me short-term happiness but what kind of habits was I creating with my New Year’s Resolutions?
Why do most of us fail at New Year’s Resolutions?
I believe the reason is we fail at New Year’s Resolutions is that we don’t look at the upcoming year and ask ourselves, “What do we really want our life to be like?” Then design a plan of action that will help us get there.
Let’s examine my Old New Year’s Resolutions and how I could improve upon them for 2023 by asking the question, “What Do I Really Want?”
- Drink More Champagne = Celebrate Life More Often
- Eat More Chocolate = Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures
- Take More Bubble Baths = Practice Better Self Care
Habits vs Goals aren’t really a competition. Creating better habits is an excellent way to achieve your goals. How many times have you set goals, only to eventually give up on them? Maybe you set a goal to lose 20 pounds this year. But by the middle of the year, you’ve given up completely. If this sounds familiar, it might be because you are trying to achieve your goals in the wrong way. Following through with your goals means you need to know the right way to achieve them. In other words, you need a goal-setting success plan.
For 2023 – I encourage you to ask yourself the question:
“What Do I Really Want?” then follow 8 STEPS for Goal Setting Success
To succeed you need a good goal-setting success plan. By following these steps and taking action on your goal every day, you have everything you need to succeed.
- DREAM & VISUALIZE – Dream about how you will feel when you achieve your goal. Visualize your end result clearly in your mind. Think about what you want the finish line to look like. What does it feel like, look like, and smell like? How do you feel? Be absolutely clear on what you want to happen.
- ROUTINE – Create a routine or habit that supports your vision. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do each day to reach this goal?” Create a plan of action to achieve your goal. Write down a list of the action steps you need to take. When you have a goal, but no plan of action, you aren’t sure of what to do next. It’s like driving without directions of where you want to go. You miss deadlines, don’t have priorities, and are unorganized. You eventually get frustrated and your goal fails.
- ENERGIZING FOCUS – Focus on one goal or habit or routine at a time. Many people start out with several goals at once and try to do too much. In the end, they become overwhelmed and lose energy and motivation. It’s a very common mistake. It is impossible to maintain your passionate energy and focus when trying to reach two or more goals at once. Choose one goal and focus on it completely. You can always go back to the other goals once you’ve accomplished your primary goal or established a new habit for yourself.
- AMBITIOUS ACTIONS – Write down your goals and post them someplace you’ll see them every day. Put them on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, on your smartphone, and on your desktop. Seeing your goals every day keeps you motivated. Having them written down means you won’t forget them or get sidetracked. Once you determine the action steps that you need to take, keep taking ambitious action toward your goal.
- MOTIVATING MISSION – Know your “why.” Knowing your purpose or the reason why you want to achieve a particular goal keeps you motivated to take the steps needed to reach the goal. It helps you recognize that the goal is worth working towards.
- EMBRACE HELP – Hold yourself accountable. Get outside help like a coach if you need to have someone else hold you accountable. They can provide valuable feedback when you need it.
- REWARD YOURSELF REGULARLY – Every time you complete a step towards your journey, reward yourself in some small way. It can be shouting, YES! or Yay Me! or I did it!
- SILLY, FUN & ENJOYABLE – You can make achieving goals enjoyable by adding a bit of fun & whimsy to your work.
In order to change our life, we must change our lifestyles. If we state, “My New Year’s Resolution is to get fit this year.” and then we don’t create new habits or routines that fit our lifestyles d will be crowding the sidewalks and gyms in January and returning to our couch potato lifestyle in February. Instead of putting your habits vs goals in competition with each other determine how they can support each other to help you achieve the life you really want.
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