Are you one of the approximately 25% of Americans who will set New Year’s Resolutions for 2020? If so, what do you think your chances are of keeping them? Of giving up? And of accomplishing true life-change?
While the statistics are sobering, you are not doomed to failure. But, you’ve got to know the key.
In studies, over 80% of people fail on New Year’s Resolutions and give up early. Just 8% or so accomplish them. In fact, by mid-January, the majority of those who’ve made New Year’s Resolutions have stopped trying altogether.
Why? What sets the 8% apart from the 80%? Do they have an iron-will and the others do not? Are they just lucky?
I think they know the key. Then, they’ve utilized some tools.
Here is the #1 Key to Accomplishing Goals and New Year’s Resolutions for 2020.
I wish I had a magic bullet.
That would be easy. But I have a key instead. A key doesn’t mean it will be easy or quick. But, no matter what you face, you can accomplish your goals with this key. And what’s more, I have 5 tools to support it.
The key to accomplishing goals and New Year’s Resolutions for 2020?
Perseverance is tough. You cannot just wish for it or receive it. It must be built. The good news is that anyone can build it. And, like a muscle, the more you build it, the stronger it will become.
Perseverance can be built by:
And then repeating, whether on the same goal or another.
We’ve talked in-depth about setting goals and more in previous years. Here, I’ll summarize and point you to more posts as needed.
Let’s build perseverance in 2020!
For most goals to succeed, you must truly *want* them. If you only half-way want a goal or a change, you are much less likely to achieve it. If it’s your friend’s or family member’s idea or passion, it may mean much less to you. If you’re picking a goal for the New Year, pick something in which you have a passion.
In fact, researchers have found that passion towards a goal has a strong link to your outcome. Most people who accomplish a life-changing goal must be in a stage of change in which they have thought about their goals, what it will take to accomplish them, and truly believe that the changes are necessary (1). The more you are willing to “do whatever it takes” the more you are likely to build up perseverance and accomplish your goal.
And what’s more, it’s easier to make your passions fun. If you are dreading a goal or habit, it won’t be fun and you’ll likely not accomplish it. Researchers find that the more fun and rewarding a goal-activity, the more likely participants will stick with it (2).
Lastly, true passions are often from God. When your goals line up with His will for you, whether for your health, your career, or your heart, you have all the power you’ll ever need. So pray about them. Ask God for guidance, and trust in Him.
Typically, you’ll start off with big goals – the end-product. And this fine. But you can’t stop there. You must support big-picture goals with action-based habits. These habits are things you do…not things you wish for. They are actions in which you are in control.
For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, your habit-action goals may be:
As you can see, the overall goal is something you hope for, but the habit-goals are what you do. The first will never be accomplished without the latter.
Here’s where this advice may be a bit different than what you’ve read before.
Don’t wait for motivation. Don’t wait for some crystal-clear perspective of what you should do next. Instead, dive into action. In fact, it’s time to rewire your brain for action.
Your brain does not likely like change. If it did, changes would be easy for everyone. But instead, it will resist.
The overcome the resistance, rewire it for action. This means that you override the “pause” and just act.
If there’s something that’s difficult for you to change, try counting down 5-4-3-2-1 and then immediately springing into action. This may seem silly, but it works. If you’d like to know more about this method, look at Mel Robbins work and her “5 Second Rule” method.
One common thing among the 80% who fail or give up? They felt they were either on a diet or off, on track to their goal or not, and likely saw it as black and white.
Here’s a secret: it’s almost all gray. There are moments when you’re right on track and when you fail. But that does not mean failure of a whole goal, but just a moment or meal or snack. Give yourself grace and get right back on track.
There are a few ways to find accountability. Some are lucky enough to have good friends who understand them, understand their goals, and can give stern accountability without judgment.
Together, these tools can help you work through your goals and build perseverance for your New Year’s Resolutions for 2020. As you build it, you will be able to accomplish so much more, year after year, than you’ve ever thought.
If you’ve struggled to accomplish your goals in the past, perseverance can sometimes seem like a unicorn. A nice idea, but it doesn’t really exist for you. It’s not an easy characteristic to build, and it takes time. But sometimes, when you mix the right (smart and actionable) goals with something you’re truly passionate about, and use effective tools, you can build perseverance and confidence. And you can accomplish anything, even your New Year’s Resolutions for 2020.