With February of 2015 almost over, it’s time to reflect on how those New Year’s resolutions are coming along. I have pretty much fallen off the wagon with my “work out 30 minutes daily” resolution. But, there’s no reason to give up on resolutions just yet.
I conducted a small focus-group of the 10 most inspiring people around me – people on their way to big successes. I tried to learn how they maintained momentum and achieved lofty goals. These are also people who have faced tremendous adversity in life and have paved a path to success. Here are top 5 ways you can find success with your New Year’s resolutions:
Visualize your Goals
A dear friend of mine has a motivating ritual for her family. On New Year’s Day, each person in the family writes out about 10 measurable, tangible and specific goals on the family wall. The goals are visible to all. You are allowed to use colored paper, elaborate pictures – whatever helps goals look and feel appealing. The goal can be removed from the wall, once it is achieved or is transformed into a regular habit.
So why does this work? Personalized and specific reminders are critical. We’ve seen this in our social-science research studies as well. When people are reminded of specific and personalized financial goals for example, they are more likely to achieve them compared to those who are not (Source: Helping Poor Save).
Make Goals Achievable
Motivation is a critical component in achieving long-term success. However, lofty goals often seem daunting and it’s easy to feel deflated if progress is not attained quickly.
If losing 25 lbs looks like an impossible goal, break up goal into more achievable categories – as in losing 2 lbs in a month. It’s achievable and still adds up to 24 lbs over the year.
Better yet, redefine success! How about losing a pant size than losing 10 lbs? Ultimately, both get you to a happy place, but the latter makes you look and feel better instead.
Think about Long-Term Life Goals
My friend recently quit his job to set up his own company as a real estate agent and construction engineer – his dream for over 5 years. However, a lot of planning and sacrifice went into achieving this life goal. Not only did his family aggressively pay off their debts, but they secured enough savings to support family expenses as he continues to establish himself. His family taught me the importance of pursuing long-term goals methodically and with immense patience.
So if you’re thinking about starting something – be it a business venture or investment in a new skill, set up a step-by-step framework to achieve the goal – research the resources needed, start saving towards the goals and spring into action rather than putting the goal off for another year!
Stop Squandering Time
To achieve any goal, it’s critical to tune out irrelevant time suckers – social media, trivial gossip, and mindless thoughts.
Unplugging seems hard, but is important in creating peace, and a connection with self and those around us. Meditate to unplug the mind’s chatter, switch off social media to focus on real life, and stop talking about mindless stuff that adds zero value to life.
Instead, find ways to invest in yourself. Attend yoga or Pilates classes you’ve been putting off, or build the habit to run even just 20 minutes a day. Learn how to play an instrument or invest your time learning art. Do something that stirs and fulfills your soul, and use your time wisely.
Care to join the National Day of Unplug?
Be a Leader and Rally the Troops
I am learning a lot from a serial entrepreneur in our family. He successfully sold his company to a big corporation, and is working on his next startup and clearly on way to success.
Here’s one thing that stands apart about him – he’s always looking for ways to help others succeed. He invests in young talent, guides them and takes them under his wing. What he gets in return is a loyal fan base, eager to help him out as and when possible.
Success in any field is never achieved alone. The biggest winners are the leaders who can inspire the best in others without expecting anything in return, because good karma rewards them plenty!