We all realize that January 1st is a false threshold and that we should simply decide and act, but it is a nice catalyst and reminder to do so (or reflect on what we’re already doing and how to make it more effective).
I would propose the two things missing in most New Year’s resolutions are (1) microgoals and (2) an environment of excellence.
First off, your goal is too big – at least in terms of timeline. Your brain and willpower can’t deal with the daunting prospect of a milestone that is a year away. Imagine going out to run a marathon right now. If you’re not a marathoner then odds are 5-10 minutes from now you’ll be struggling to overcome the realization that it’s going to take you 25+ miles more or another 4-6+ hours to meet your goal. A more tangible goal to keep you present and positive might be the next 1/4 mile or that next tree or street sign.
Experts on behavior say that it takes 30-90 consecutive days to successfully build and strengthen the neural pathways that support new habits. So, a one-year goal is fine, great in fact. But gear for success by breaking out a plan for major quarterly and monthly milestones, weekly or bi-weekly microgoals, and a daily schedule.
Follow this link to get our FREE 7 Day Discipline challenge to kick-start your process. It’s a quick and simple (but not easy!) way to work on mindset and observing and improving what may be going on inside ourselves negatively or positively toward our goals. In just a minute per day of action and then reflection, you’ll get unique new insight and get a sense for whether you’re ready to learn more and take on bigger challenges.
Environments of excellence
In addition to having a realistic and executable plan, make sure you have an enabling and supportive environment around you. The saying we often hear goes as follows – you are the average of your five closest friends. This type of support, a peer group, goes directly to the consistency needed to create and then sustain change. Once you have goals and a plan, check your environment to make sure you have who and what you need.