Tis the season when many people reboot their efforts to improve their quality of life and work. This year I decided to get a head start on my 2018 resolutions by starting on them this fall – and one is to become more fit. Getting fit and losing weight consistently show up in the top New Years resolutions, and I have lost 25 pounds! My husband became so curious about my success that he followed me on this path and lost 30 pounds he no longer wanted. It is exciting, because I have other goals on my list that are also moving along toward their destinations. Chances are, you know some worthwhile goals that could greatly improve your career and personal life, so what are you waiting for – and how can you “lose the wait” in 2018?
Studies show that about 50% of the people around you will make resolutions this week as a way of motivating themselves to be better, but by February many of them will start wavering and lose focus. Sadly, a University of Scranton study confirms only 8% of your family and friends will go on to achieve their resolutions. If you want to earn a spot among the successful 8% – if you really want to disrupt yourself, consider these key factors that will greatly influence your success.
“Motivation is the key that unlocks your true,
potential. Things become easier when you tap
into how you are naturally motivated.”
Connect “Natural Motivation Drivers” To Your Goals
Motivation is the key that unlocks your true potential. Things become easier when you tap into how you are naturally motivated. You have unique drivers that motivate or de-motivate you on a daily basis. You might think of them as your very own combination lock. Although they may be out of your conscious awareness, these drivers influence whether you procrastinate or get things done on your daily “to do” list. Therefore, it helps when you align your goals with your natural motivation drivers. I am enjoying great success with fitness goals this year because the program I chose matches some of my core drivers. I reviewed the results of the motivation assessment that we use in our coaching programs and I score very high on four things: information, structure, consistency and alternatives. I have tried other nutritional programs before, but the one I chose this time fits all four patterns: First, the information made sense to me, and it changed how I think about fuel for my body. Now, when I walk into a grocery store and look around at the food options, I find only about ten percent of it appealing. I literally see the grocery store in a new way. This year we visited with family at Thanksgiving and I came home two pounds lighter, because I now think differently about food choices. Changing your thinking is crucial to changing your behavior and creating new habits! The nutrition program also matches my motivation preferences for structure and consistency – yet has enough alternatives built in that I don’t become bored and lose interest. When you match your goals with how you are naturally motivated, your chances of success greatly increase.
Change How You Talk To Yourself As You Form New Habits
Brain scientists and psychotherapists have teamed up and used MRIs to discover how habitual behavior is created. It is not surprising that we all have default thinking, which leads to default behavior. Their studies show that in order to create a new habit, you must create thinking patterns that create new neural pathways and memories, which become your new default thinking and behavior.
In our coaching we have always known that how you talk to yourself is an important part of forming new habits. For example, if you tell a child, “Don’t spill the milk”, their brain now has to think about spilling the milk. During Thanksgiving this year, instead of thinking, “Don’t eat that chocolate pie,” I focused on what I could have – other alternatives that were also very good and provided better nutrition. So, when developing new habits, focus on implementing the new ones, instead of not repeating the old ones. (As we like to say, energy flows where attention goes!) One of our executive coaches provided another great example of this when she got to go to a BMW driving school. One of the school’s success principles is, “Focus on where you want the car to go – instead of focusing on the cones that you don’t want to hit.” To form new habits, change your self-talk and thinking to support the creation of new neural pathways. In other words, build a new road, instead of focusing on avoiding or dodging the potholes in the old road you’ve been traveling.
“In other words, build a new road, instead of
focusing on avoiding or dodging the potholes
in the old road you’ve been traveling.”
Write Down Your Goals / Plans
You can build a house without a plan, but you may not end up with a livable structure – and the same is true with New Years resolutions. Good goals start with good plans. A remarkable study conducted in the Harvard MBA Program points out the importance of having a plan for your goals. The study focused on graduate students. Some of them committed to goals and others did not.
- Three percent of the students had written goals with plans to accomplish them.
- Another thirteen percent had goals in their minds, but did not write them down.
- Eighty-four percent of the students had no goals or plans.
Ten years later, Harvard found the three percent of students with written goals and plans earned ten times as much as the rest of the class combined! Those who plan to succeed – succeed with a plan! Why not dare to plan and dream as you consider how to improve your quality of life and work in 2018?
Rebooting your goals can be rewarding! Here’s wishing you the very best in 2018. Be among the elite 8% this year and enjoy the rewards of achieving your goals!
Would you like more information on how to achieve your goals? If so, contact us and we will be in touch.