According to most lists I’ve seen, about 5 of the top 10 resolutions set at the start of the new year revolve around health. Whether it is to lose weight, stress less, get in shape, quit drinking or smoking or just to enjoy life more. The saddest statistic I’ve seen this week is that less than 20% of people actually accomplish their new years goals. As I wrote last week, there is a fine balance that we need to find when it comes to goal accomplishment. Above all, we need to be flexible about the “how” and rigid about the “why”.
So why is it that people are only successful in accomplishing their goals 20% of the time? Generally, they lack a clear and powerful intention, they lack perseverance and they lack accountability to someone other then themselves.
The number one goal people have is to lose some weight. But there are a lot of different reasons or intentions why they want to do it. They might want to look good for a trip, they might think that if they look a certain way, they will be accepted and loved or they might be able to finally stop saying negative things about themselves in the mirror. The goal is the same but the intention behind the goal is vastly different.
Intention is the deeper driving force behind the goal. Some are more powerful than others. What if the intention to lose 20 lbs was to create a more balanced and loving relationship with your body? Do you think that would change how you went about accomplishing the goal? Would you be more kind to yourself throughout the process? What if you felt like you failed in your initial attempt? With the wrong intention, you would become more discouraged and down on yourself but with the right intention, you would consider failure a lesson in love and patience with yourself.
I think that it is a 100% guarantee that we will all fail at our first attempt to change our direction and improve our life. If we already knew how to do what we were wanting to do, we would already have done it. That means we have to learn and in order to learn we have to fail. Plain and simple. The right intention then helps to push us to hang in and never give up. The real goal in life is to learn the skills and develop the character traits required to become the someone we want to be. Nothing is gained if we are magically gifted the result without the work. Lottery winners are notorious for losing their money because they didn’t develop the traits to retain it. Perseverance is the fuel that creates masterpieces out of our lives.
Left to our own devices, we often resort to what is easy and known. Having someone to be accountable to, someone who cares and preferably someone who has walked the path we are attempting to walk is the single most important strategy that the masses lack. We can be accountable to fitness tracking devices and that might help a bit but what we really need is a coach or mentor that can cheer us on as well as kick our butts when needed.
As you look over your new year’s resolutions or your weekly or monthly goals, ask yourself what is the intention behind them. Are you wanting the results without the work? Can you embrace the discomfort of being stretched as you fall and rise and fall and rise again? Have you surrounded yourself with others that you can be accountable to? Do you have a mechanism in place to account for your successes and failures?
Let’s see if with these 3 key principles, we can all be more than 20% successful in our pursuit of a better life this year.