Thursday, December 26, 2019

7 Ways to Make Successful Resolutions

We are moving to a time of year where many people will make a resolution. In the past I have preached on these resolutions so I can almost quote what many of them are. You probably know them too. We've all made some or heard a friend talk about their coming goals for the New Year.

Most people will make a resolution that involves one of these:
- Loose Weight
- Get our of debt
- Go to the gym
- Get a better job
- Clean the garage
- Read the Bible/go to church
- Stop drinking alcohol

In recent years, studies have found that about 12% of people actually accomplish their goals. Wipe your eyes, clean your glasses, and read that again. Only 12% of people will actually accomplish their New Years Resolutions.

How come there is such a horrible fail rate?
Why can't we seem to find success in this area?
What is causing me/others to fail?

These are all questions that we need to answer. One part is that we are naturally lazy. One author wrote that is the job of the brain to conserve energy. Going to the gym takes energy. Think about that for a minute!

Another reason we fail is that we are not disciplined. That is hard to read. Say it out loud and it sounds worse! We lack the disciple it takes to create new, healthy, habits in our lives.

Now, I am one who loves goals and how found seven ways to help make your goals a reality:

1) Get Creative

Instead of saying that you will go to the gym every day for the next 52 weeks, what if you made a different goal? The truth simple; you haven't been to the gym for the last 4 years so what is going to be so special about this year?
I'm not trying to be rude, but honest. I have a standing goal of being in the gym 3-4 times a week. I know my schedule and what it takes to get to the gym. The gym is close to my work, less than a half-mile away. But it is still hard for me to get there.

Also, we need to change our language. I listened a book this year and the author made a comment like this about goals: "Stop saying you will try to go to the gym." Saying "try" gives you the excuse. Replace it with saying: "I will go to the gym." It changes our ambition in the later statement.

2) Think Marathon and not Sprint

If we keep on the gym topic, we need to think marathon and not sprint. I know that some people say a marathon is just 26 miles sprinted together. I've never ran a marathon. In fact, this was a goal of mine like 12 years ago. Then I started running and puked. I realized I wasn't built for running so I needed to shift my goal.

The marathon concept is tied to a length in our goals. If your goal is to do blah blah blah (fill in the blank), figure out how long it will take. Then figure out what you need to do each week to make it happen.

3) Create Achievable Goals 

One of my goals last year was to hike Half Dome in Yosemite. I had looked at that rock since I was 6 years old and wanted to sit on the top. I had been applying for a permit for a couple years. I needed to get creative. I put a false deadline on it. I told myself that I had to climb it before I was 40 years old. I could have climbed it at 41, but I  need a push.

To make it more achievable I started walking more. I made it a goal to walk 3-5 miles a day. Then I would take a longer hike each month. I love being outside so this was a no brainer.

4) Insert Fun 

See my hike to Half Dome was a fun goal. So many of the goals that I have created in the past were boring. I am going to be honest, the gym is fun for me but the gym is not fun. For me it's a way to exercise and continue tot be an athlete. I go to the gym because I view myself as an athlete. I want to be able to hike Half Dome, snowboard, fish, surf, and ride bikes with my kids. Going to the gym helps me stay fit so I can accomplish some greater goals I have in life.

Think about something fun you've been wanting to do. Go to Hawaii, travel the States, save up for new car. Make this fun! Create a game out of it. When I would hike, I would put my son on my back to help strengthen my legs. I made it a game and accomplished the hike.

5) Share Them

Last year I was reading a book by Mark Batterson. In the book he said that you need to write down your goals and share them. I began sharing one of my goals with a few friends. Guess what? I didn't hike Half Dome alone. When I shared my goal I found support from others. I had guys talking about the gear they had, how they are prepping, and more. It was epic to summit the dome together.

One of my goals for the last two years has been to start writing a book. Guess what? I haven't done it. Do you know why? Because I don't have anyone asking me how I'm doing on making progress. I really want to write a book... but I keep putting it off.

6) No Lone Rangers

This ties right into the last goal. We were never meant to do life alone. Find some people to support you in your goals. I have a friend who went on a journey to loose weight. He lost like a 100 pounds (that is like me loosing two of my kids). He didn't hide his weight loss. He was super open about his failure to care for his body, and how eating was an addiction. He was super honest and got so much support!

Do you know why CrossFit works? Because you have others who are supporting you. I did CrossFit once and it kicked my butt. Then I left and said: "I want to do this more." We were made to life in community. Find some trusted to friends to share your goals with. Ask them to walk along with you.

7) Keep them Visible 

I typically write my goals and keep them in my phone. I look at them like 6 times a year. This year I'm going to change that. I'm going to write them on a piece of a paper and put it near my bed and then make a copy that goes to my office. I want to see them. I want to know what I'm working towards.

You can do the same. Write them with a pen, studies show we are more likely to remember them if they are hand-written. Tape them in your car, your office, or get them tattooed on your arm. Actually, don't get a tattoo, that is a bad idea.

What am I missing from this list? I need to keep excelling in goals.

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