It comes and goes every year, and every year it’s the same story. We set New Year’s resolutions and within days or weeks, we fail. Life gets in the way, we lose motivation, or we simply just forget about them altogether. They’re an annual reminder of just how stubborn our habits are, and it can be pretty easy to fall off the wagon. 80% of us don’t make it past January, and 92% of us don’t make it to the end of the year.
But I’m not here to tell you why you’re not going to succeed. I’m here to tell you exactly how to be a part of that 8% that see the light at the end of the tunnel and walk all the way to it. The thing is, it’s not always about setting a goal and achieving it. A lot of times we learn things about ourselves, circumstances change and we need to adapt or fail. This is when a lot of people drop off. They decide that they can no longer achieve their original goal because their circumstances change and they give up. I’m here to challenge you to adapt, take those extra steps, and set yourself up for success.
How to Reassess Your Goals
Figure out your real goal
The most important part of deciding to rework your goals is to think about the bigger picture of why you chose that particular goal in the first place. For example if your goal is to go to the gym 3 times a week, you’re not choosing that because you think 3 is a good number of times to go to the gym. There’s an underlying accomplishment you’d like those 3 days to drive you towards. It could be losing weight, toning up, getting stronger, or just overall having a feeling of more energy. The first step is to figure out what that underlying goal is.
Figure out What is Blocking Your Progress
This part of the process is usually the hardest because it requires you to be brutally honest with yourself. You may come to the realization that you’re the reason you’re not accomplishing your goals, and you have to be okay with that and be willing to make the changes required. In other cases it could be something like a schedule change or a change of responsibilities that has shaken up your routine and caused you to take your foot off the gas on your goals. Sit down and brainstorm what actions, behaviors, circumstances, or otherwise are getting in the way of your progress.
Figure out your why
The “why” of your goals is the one thing that will lead you to accomplishing them. This can be tricky to understand and that’s why it’s so important. Everyone knows that they should save a percentage of their income to maintain stability and have it for emergencies. But sometimes that’s not enough to drive a change. Let’s compare two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Joe commits to saving 10% of his pay because he read in a book that you should save at least 10% of your income. He’s never saved before and has tendencies to spend money frivolously. Halfway through January, he discovers a sale on an item he’s been keeping an eye on forever, but the only way he can afford it is if he dips into his savings.
Scenario 2: John commits to saving $100 a month, because he wants to buy his wife a nice pair of earrings for their 5th wedding anniversary. He has 6 months until his anniversary and the earrings cost $600. In the middle of the second month, an item goes on sale that he’s wanted for a long time but the only way he can afford it is to tap into his wife’s gift savings.
Which one of these people do you think is more likely to forgo the purchase and continue saving their money? John has a much stronger “why” than Joe, so he’s more likely to continue saving so he can get his wife the earrings he wants to give her.
Once you’ve figured out your “why” and the deeper underlying reason for setting the goal you’ve set, you’re on the path to success. Finally, we can start to reassess our goals.
How to Reassess Your Goals
Reassessing your goals does not always mean that you need to make a drastic change. The outcome of this step is going to vary widely based on your goals, roadblocks and “whys” that we’ve worked on up until this point. Take some time to yourself and really think about how to put those three pieces together to come up with a great goal that's actually what you want to achieve, works around any roadblocks you may have had, and is focused on your "why".
If you ever get off track or need a refresher, come back to these steps to realign yourself and get back on track. Accomplishing goals should be a fun thing, even when it's hard. The reward of seeing that goal number on the scale or hitting that savings goal is far beyond the pain and sacrifice it takes to get there.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you've found this guide helpful.