There’s something about the clean slate of a new year that motivates us to improve ourselves.
In fact, according to an article in Psychology Today, about 50% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. But only 8% of us actually accomplish them. Why is the failure rate so high?
Some of the reasons cited in the article include:
- Procrastination – Some of us aren’t really ready to change our habits, and making resolutions is a way of motivating ourselves to make the changes in the future instead of right now.
- Unrealistic expectations – With overly ambitious goals (like losing 60 pounds, for example), we set ourselves up to fail.
- Looking for that “Magic Bullet” – Sometimes we think that achieving that goal – losing weight, reducing debt, etc. – will fix everything that’s wrong in our lives. Then when it doesn’t, we backslide into the old habits.
So thinking about my own goals for 2016, I noticed that I could separate them into business goals versus personal goals. I realized that those personal resolutions are critical to creating the proper mindset to accomplish my financial and business goals.
Here are some suggestions from my own list of 2016 resolutions as well as some other suggestions for personal and business goals to help give you some ideas.
It’s a long list, but a lot of them are small changes and mindset changes rather than major lifestyle changes. And of course, it’s all about baby steps and celebrating each small victory!
- Start that business you’ve always dreamed about. (You knew I was going to say it!) You don’t have to quit your day job if you aren’t ready. Again, baby steps!
- Eat better. But be realistic. Sweeping dietary changes are hard to sustain. For myself, I’m going to be instituting small incremental changes to my diet one at a time.
- Get enough sleep. Try to get to sleep and wake up at a consistent time. Also, no electronics (laptop, cell phone, etc.) in bed – studies show they have a negative effect on sleep hygiene.
- Declutter. Get rid of things (and even people) in your life that you don’t need or love. For inspiration, I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying .
- Exercise (in some form). This is a hard one for me; I’m built for comfort, not for speed. But it’s probably the one I need to work on the most.
- Learn to accept failure. No successful person ever got that way without failing at some point. The same goes for accepting criticism and feedback. You can’t evolve without them.
- Schedule time for yourself. The best performers are the ones who schedule time for fun, for their passions and hobbies, and their friends and family.
- Smile more. Studies show that smiling (even if it’s forced) causes the brain to secrete endorphins and dopamine, causing you to feel less stressed and happier. Not to mention the effect it has on other people you interact with.
- Don’t judge or compare yourself to others. You probably don’t know the whole story!
- Abandon perfectionism. Rachel Kelly of The Guardian states that you should follow the “60% Rule” – if your project/your relationship/your job is 60% right, then you’re doing well.
Or how about…
- Spend more time outdoors.
- Hang out with people who make your life better.
- Travel somewhere you’ve never been.
- Adopt a homeless pet.
- Volunteer for a cause you care about.
- Do something every day that pushes your boundaries.
And if you only want to make one resolution… let it be this one:
Decide what you want your life to look like…
then take the first steps to make it happen!