We all know the general success rates of New Year Resolutions are pretty poor. In fact, many people stop making them after a while because they don’t feel it’s worth even trying. Having said that, there has always been, and still is, that small minority that very successfully set New Year goals for themselves in the way of their fitness, or physique, or abundant energy levels that totally transform themselves into a more vibrant, confident and healthy person.

So, what makes the difference? What distinctions draw the line between the few that succeed vs. the many who don’t?

The two biggest reasons that resolutions don’t make it past the first few weeks of the year (if they get started at all) are:

1)    The wrong plan – People set a goal and start toward it but have an inappropriate plan that isn’t realistic, or is not viable to their lifestyle or abilities, is too much too soon or just not effective for obtaining progressive results. Or

2)    Lack of Commitment – They set a goal and start half-heartedly toward it, not giving it all they’ve got and so don’t get any progress or results. Then the lack of results is so demotivating and disappointing that many find it not worth the effort (even a half-hearted one) so they throw in the towel.

MotivationMost people put this whole topic down to motivation. The base word for motivation is motive, which refers to the reason, the purpose, the drive or the ‘want’ for something.  This is actually quite funny because many times I hear statements like, “I want to lose weight but I just don’t have the motivation”.  To me, motivation means want, I hear – “I want to lose weight but I just don’t have the want

The reality of this whole concept of motivation really comes down to two things –

1) The Reason (motive) and

2) Belief.

Firstly, if you honestly have a goal or resolution that truly means something to you, you know why you really want it, and why it will make a massive shift in the quality of your life, then you will have an emotional, gut-level connection to it, and the internal drive compelling you to act upon it. Not just the intellectual idea that you should. Think of all the positive outcomes that will result from achieving this goal and of all the painful consequences of not acting upon this goal, and you will have a strong enough reason, you will have motive!

Secondly, you need the belief that you can do it.  Imagine having all the motivation in the world toward something you really want but inwardly you have doubt towards your ability to achieve it. Maybe you tried many times before with little success, or it’s a goal that seems too big for your current reality. Either way, if deep down you have the belief that you can’t do it, or it just seems too unreal for you, how fervently do you think you would begin acting upon that goal, if at all?

 ‘Stack the odds in your favour!’

Here are some tips on effectively setting a goal and gearing yourself for success by building the right desire, plan and consistency to stay the course:

  • Have an ultimate vision of what you really want for this area of your life, specifically and make sure it is a result-based outcome that you can achieve.
  • Be clear on exactly why you want it, how much it will mean to your whole life to achieve it, and get in touch with the gut-level emotional drive that compels you toward it.
  • Get a plan – research whatever you can, find the right advice, consult a professional if you need to and make a plan that works realistically for your abilities.
  • Build your belief – read stories, lots of stories, in magazines or online of others in your situation that have achieved what you’re after and what they did to get there. Also break the end goal into smaller, more achievable milestones to avoid becoming overwhelmed and entrench the confidence that you will do this.
  • Act – only action gets results so hit the ground running, and constantly check your progress to ensure you’re on track. Again, get help in this area if you need to. Never forget the ultimate reason why you are doing the actions, this will sustain your perspective and drive. Aim for consistency – ‘consistency beats brilliance’.
  • Celebrate – every little milestone accomplished will build your confidence and belief and efficacy in achieving the next, and for this, each milestone should be celebrated.

Happy 2013!