Do you have the same “I vow to do this” list for 2019 as you did for 2018? You know how this goes: You pledge that you will lose weight, save more money, and crank up your career goals.
But deep down, you know you’re probably going to disappoint yourself again in the coming year.
Psychologists and career coaches often give reasons such as these for failure:
• We all tend to set too many goals. Having five or six resolutions will overwhelm us. It’s better to have just two or three.
• We let the people around us have too much influence. For example, most of us have allowed friends or family members to talk us into eating donuts when we’re dieting.
• We fail to notice what isn’t working. We keep doing the same wrong things over and over, hoping for a different outcome.
“When I was in my twenties, I could set goals and definitely reach them,” says a friend of ours we’ll call Jeanna. “Now that I’m 50, I seem to blow my resolutions every year. I get really mad at myself.”
When we asked Jeanna to look at her accomplishments, however, she was amazed. She did reach many goals last year. They were just different goals than her New Year’s resolutions list.
For starters, she helped her sister face breast cancer last year. Jeanna also tutored her nephew in a tough chemistry class. On top of this, she helped her niece purchase a house.
“Looking at my real accomplishments for the past couple of years makes me feel better,” says Jeanna. “I helped myself and my family get through some tough situations.”
Many of us deserve a huge pat on the back for the goals we do reach. But, we still want to dig down and steer toward those nagging resolutions we haven’t met.
In order to manage better, get our house in order, and really tackle those resolutions, it pays to try these techniques:
• We need to ask ourselves why we’re failing. For example, do we fail to lose weight because we don’t buy the right groceries? Or, do we eat when we really aren’t that hungry? No problem can be fixed unless we know why we have it in the first place.
• We need to manage each day much better. If we can gain control of our daily time and energy, we’ll have the resources to fix our problems. For example, if we want to get up at 6 a.m., we have to discipline ourselves to go to bed by 10.
• We need to define what’s stealing our focus. For example, thinking about a failed relationship all the time will divert your focus from finding new love. Or, failing to organize your phone calls can really eat into your time each day.
“I bought a small notebook last year to keep track of my goals,” says a friend of ours we’ll call Dustin. “I write down why I flub certain things. For example, I realized I was watching 90 minutes of news every night. When I cut this back to 30 minutes, I found time to work on a book I wanted to write.”
Most of us tend to blame ourselves for being weak or undisciplined, but this likely isn’t the true problem. When we own why we miss our targets, we can adjust our planning and actions to have better success in 2019.