The majority of Americans, myself included, use the New Year as a time to set New Year’s Resolutions or as I prefer, goals for the New Year. But, did you know that only 8% of people continue achieving those goals after the middle of February. That’s right – 92% of us give up before February is half over. What happened to perseverance? Maybe we’re going at this wrong. Maybe you should get out of your own way? How about giving yourself consequences for slacking? Here’s some ideas:
1. Choosing your consequences: Come up with a deterrent to quitting that would be unpleasant for you. Think of things that are uncomfortable and annoying rather than things that are harsh or physically painful. Maybe depriving yourself of that second cup of coffee the next morning.
2. Enlist others: Ask people close to you to hold you accountable or make them part of your consequences. Maybe if you are late to a lunch date, you have to pick up the tab if being more punctual is one of your goals. Most people will have no problem calling you on a slip up if there is something in it for them. I have a private Facebook group for my clients so that we can hold each other accountable for our workouts and eating right.
3. Pay up immediately: Address the mess up as soon as possible. While it’s natural to want to drag your feet, spending a lot of time dreading it takes you away from working toward your goals. Get it over with and get back on your way to your goals.
4. Focus on the positive: There is an important distinction between giving yourself consequences and beating yourself up. Beating yourself up can ruin your self-esteem and make you feel as if you might as well ditch the whole goal. If you do revert to your old ways, look at your lapses as a learning experience and quickly begin to go forward again. Eventually you’ll be able to adhere to the new habit just because it makes you feel good.
So, I leave you with the definition of perseverance: Fierce and steadfast dedication; holding tight to your dreams with patience and true grit!