There's a reason the majority of people don't bother to set a New Year's resolution.
We don't exactly have a high track record of success.
In fact, of the 45% of the population who DID set a 2017 goal, one-third of will give up before the end of January and only 8% will cross the finish line and reach the goal they set.
As I scrolled through Facebook this week, I understood why.
One well-meaning friend has been posting non-stop complaints about his new diet since New Year's Day. Every salad he eats is photographed with a caption telling the world how much he misses pizza. If he's eating an apple, he wishes it was cake. He's keeping track of how many consecutive days he's made the huge sacrifice to put clean foods into his body.
But really, he's just counting how many days he can tell people he ate clean before he threw in the towel. My guess is he will eventually find a reason to quit. He might blame it on his travel schedule and how there's no healthy food at airports. Or maybe he will say it's too expensive to eat healthy.
There's a million stories he could use, but there's only one real reason.
He will fail because he has conditioned his mind to believe the pain of losing his favorite comfort foods will outweigh the pleasure of living in a healthier body. As long as part of him values junk food more than he loves the idea of better health, he will be roadblocked from his goal.
If you are serious about being in the 8% of high achievers this year, you can't rely on will power. Simply trying to think your to a goal is not enough to create lasting change.
What you need is leverage. The pain associated with staying where you are has to outweigh the short term pain associated with making a change in behavior. You have to visualize the negative consequences that staying stagnant will have on your life. What will be the impact on your health? Your family? Your work? Write those consequences down and keep them with you. Refer to it when the idea of giving up sounds good.
And because we are equally motivated by experiencing pleasure as we are avoiding pain, pick out a reward that gets you EXCITED and promise it to yourself once you reach the goal.
In my life, the pain and embarrassment I felt during my divorce in 2012 gave me the leverage to lose 37 lbs, quickly. I kept screenshots of the emails I found from my ex-wife to her boyfriend. They stayed on the camera roll of my iPhone. Yes, looking at them was painful, but they motivated me to respect myself more so I could find a partner who would do the same. It was what gave me the leverage to get out of the fast food drive-thru and into the gym.
On the flip side, as I hit new health milestones, I picked out rewards to give myself. After the first 25 lbs, I treated myself to $1000 in new clothes that would not have fit before. When I lost 37 lbs, I treated myself to a vacation to celebrate.
When you build the right leverage, you don't have to rely on willpower to break bad habits because positive change becomes a no-brainer.
To show you the tremendous power of this process, I am offering up 3, FREE, 25-minute "Leverage Your Life Strategy Sessions" this week. Are you already hitting the wall on your 2017 goals? In this powerful, FREE coaching experience, you and I will regroup and:
- Zero in on the one goal that you are committed to making happen this year
- Identify what's really holding you back from achieving
- Get clear on the consequences and negative impact on your life if you don't commit to change now
- Help you build some consequences and rewards that fire you up and help you breakthrough.
The offer is good to the first 3 people who contact me here.
My wish for you this week is to take the things you have previously had to FORCE yourself to do and turn them into a pleasurable experience. Let me know how I can help you make this happen.