What is a New Year’s resolution?
A reflection on the year past has all of us scrambling to institute some form of change in our lives. Whether it is related to health, relationships or profession, your resolution has about a twenty five percent chance of success.
While the concept of a resolution implemented on the first day of the New Year is an attractive idea, anything that results in a seventy five percent chance of failure is not something that I’m willing to commit to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to change. But I am opposed to failure!
Failure should never be an option, but each and every year, we set ourselves up for disappointment. If you're one of those strong willed twenty five percent, then I commend your efforts and discipline. But the reality is, for the most of us, life’s ebbs and flows steer us back toward habits that gave us comfort and a sense of belonging.
Quitting smoking and losing weight have to rank high on the list of the most popular resolutions. But what happens when the spirit of the turning year fades, and the struggles of life reemerge?
It’s human nature to revert back to our old habits. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if, even after committing on the first of January 2013, you slap on an extra ten pounds by the first of February. It doesn’t mean that you are weak minded, or incapable of taking the necessary steps toward living a healthier lifestyle. Your actions indicate that you set yourself an unrealistic goal, and your intentions were doomed to fail from the start.
The feeling of uncertainty leaves all of us second guessing our decisions. Have you ever heard a smoker say, “Nobody in my family was ever diagnosed with cancer as a result of smoking!” In their mind, they justified the fact that their habit will never result in death based on family medical history. They sold themselves on the reality that smoking may not mean their impending doom. So they commit to smoking, and are blinded from the consequences.
That’s the power of our subversive mind. We have the ability to sabotage our own success!
If you truly want to commit to making a change in your life, you have to know the seven keys to success. No matter what change, goal or dream you are pursuing, these seven ingredients are necessary in order to guarantee a positive end result.
Conveniently enough, the acronym that I developed spells out the word SUCCESS. So in reality, I am about to present you with actual success! Now you no longer have to search for something you already have.
As stated before, long term goals have too high of a failure percentage to be effective. Keep things simple and focused. Commit to goals that will yield an end result after 30 days or less.
Quicker rewards = instant gratification (something we all crave).
Don’t plan a vacation on week three of your “30 days to lose five pounds!” Interruption morphs into a total loss of focus. Keep your eye on the prize.
It reminds me of the dogs depicted in the Disney movie "Up." Squirrel!
A cornerstone represents the starting point in any structure. It is essential. Without it, walls come crashing down, and everything falls apart. Instead of posing the question, "what is your cornerstone?" I am going to change the what into a who. Who is your cornerstone?
Every Rocky needs a Mickey.
The lack of comfort is often used as a motivational tool. “If it hurts, then it's working!”
I agree that the pursuit of success is never easy, but that doesn’t mean we have to be uncomfortable along the way. Grinding to the point of exhaustion only results in success on the big screen! In a three dimensional world, we need to maintain our comfort in order to keep moving forward.
Even the Aborigines of the Gobi Desert (large and very hot desert region in Asia) rest during the hours when the sun is at its peak. This period of rest resulted in preserved energy for cooler travel under the night’s sky. They moved great distances.
Your goal must be clearly defined. How can you win a race if the finish line is poorly specified?
Say you want to limit your smoking to a pack of cigarettes a week. You can clearly focus the end result by stating that you are going to reduce your smoking to 20 cigarettes a week. Then you zero in on your goal by further refining your intentions to smoke 2.857 cigarettes a day.
It’s time to do some math, and break out the scissors!
Is your goal safe? No one is going to “safely” lose 20 pounds in less than a month. No matter how much you exercise, and how limited your calorie intake is, there is no safe way to reach that goal.
Safety is an often overlooked aspect of success. We become so passionate about experiencing our desired outcome, that we no longer care how it is we get there. In order to experience the ultimate pleasure that will accompany your success, you’ll have to be conscious when it arrives!
Now that you’ve performed all of this hard work, is your goal sustainable, or have you set the bar too high?
We’ll use the weight loss example again. If your ideal and healthy bodyweight is between 130 and 145 pounds, is a personal goal weight of 120 pounds sustainable? Now apply the question of sustainability to your professional goals as well. Is making a six figure income sustainable? Absolutely! But, can the method in which you earned that money be repeated?
SUCCESS is yours for the taking if you are willing to follow these guidelines. If you chose to backspace a few letters, not only will you not experience SUCCESS, but you’ll be inventing a new acronym using the word FAILURE. And I have no desire to spell that out!