Creating New Year’s Resolutions That Last
I love the end of the year. I love coming into the end of the year and thinking about the next year. I love looking at the highs and lows of the year that we’re closing out. And I like rethinking what this next year looks like.
I’ve become fascinated over 20 years of why new year’s resolutions don’t stick as long as you would think that they would. It seems that most people’s resolutions run out of gas within 30 days of the new year beginning. I think it’d be worth talking about why that happens and then also how you can solve for that so that everything stays alive.
Watch this video to learn more:
Resolutions Can Come From Regret
I think a lot of resolutions are birthed, maybe, in pain. And not physical pain necessarily, but just the pain of regret like Jim Rohn talks about, or the pain of observation, which can be what happened during the year that maybe caused some pain. Maybe it could be family, maybe it could be health, it could be any of those things. We certainly know that when tragedy hits, people kind of recycle their priorities and rethink those things. The best way to take a look at a new year’s resolutions is what would happen if they were birthed in vision and pleasure and what you really want to achieve.
And the biggest thing about life, I think, is that it teaches us lessons. And I tell my boys who are 25 and 23, learn the big lessons fast and don’t not learn them because until you learn a lesson, it’s a mistake. And then think through really what does it look like to not repeat things that cause pain and then to execute things that move you closer to your dreams and goals. And so a couple things that I want to point out. Number one, I think that everything that we resolve to do has to be birthed in a deeper sense of, why is this important to me? We just finished a high trust sales academy, had 250 mortgage and real estate professionals there. And I spent the better part of three hours talking about why Why works and why knowing your purpose and why knowing what truly is deeply most important to you is the absolute essence, the super glue of making your resolutions work.
Setting Resolutions Based On Your Purpose
When anything that we want to do externally, whatever it is, better sales personship, different marketing, better savings habits, better health habits, better family habits and balance, better time habits, whatever it is, they’re all designed to produce some kind of fulfillment and fulfillment is the reason why Why works. You experience making a difference, you experience fulfillment, you experience joy or happiness, or those emotions that we all know are so very, very important to experience. When you’re talking about new year’s resolutions and you’re talking about forming new habits, and you’re trying to undo something that got you here by doing something that’s going to get you there, that takes time.
So, two years ago, when we interviewed James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, at Sales Mastery, he was very, pun intended, last name, Clear, he was very clear on a couple of things that I think are relevant here. Number one, don’t set yourself up for failure because the most important thing about a resolution is that, if it’s important to you, keep it.
And so in keeping it, you have to have a healthy attitude towards failure, failure and success are sisters and brothers, right? I mean, you can’t have success without failure. You can’t have setups for a better future, unless you have setbacks for your current reality. And so it becomes a really important dialogue to have with oneself:
Why am I doing this in the first place? Why would getting healthy be important to me? Why would saving money be important to me?
It should all center around one purpose, right? And for me, it’s making a difference.
How to Stick With Your Resolutions and Goals
And so when I have new goals of the year, it’s like, I’m going to stick with the goals because I know the longer I stick with the goals or in this case, the resolutions, the more likely I am to make a difference, make a difference in others lives by making a difference in my life. And if I stay healthy, I can make a better difference. If I stay congruent with what I teach about wealth and health, then I can do that better and longer and at a higher level of effectiveness. If I have a balancing act that I want to kind of re-year and has to do with free time and family, then I want to look at that because, when I’m rested, I can make a better difference. When I’m fatigued, I can’t make a better difference.
And so, it’s that driving force that actually allows you to stay in the game and stay in the hunt. And then one of the things that happened at the Sales Academy a few weeks ago is I talked about micro victories. One of the things that I believe is important is to understand the value of micro victories and micro victories are what they are, they’re wins. There are a lot of little wins that stack up to make a big win. And when you’re winning, you go forward and when you’re not winning you stall out, or you start going backwards.
Using Micro Victories to Stick To Your Resolutions
When I think about micro victories, I’m thinking about the littlest things compound over time.
If I want to save a million dollars and I’m 22, I need to put $250 away every month. But if I want to save a million dollars and I’m 52, I have to put away $12,000 a month. It’s a lot easier to put away $250 a month than it is to put $12,000 a month away. So it’s the micro victory of saving, saving, saving, saving, saving, right, and making the investments wise and so on and so forth.
There’s two more things that James Clear brought to our message. One was this idea of habit formation.
How to Form Habits to Accomplish Your Goals
Habit formation depends on the depth and the connection of a current habit, good or bad. Habit formation is changing your habits to be more positive, to be more congruent, to be more forward thinking, to be more visionary, to really be more about the long term process of living through the short term process of doing, and doing well, doing what you want.
So one of the studies that he claims is that the big stuff takes a lot longer than one month of a new year’s resolution. The big stuff, he says, can take 250 days or more. And this idea that you can change your life in three weeks is not true. You can change the direction of your life in three weeks, but a life that’s 30 years old, that’s had 10 years of bad habits is not going to change in a day by trying to form a new habit. And so the old gets replaced over time with the new and the new becomes a behavior that is not only driven by vision, but it is supported by your why, by your purpose.
And then the final thing that I think he says, and I think this is really helpful around resolutions, is the idea of habit stacking. And habit stacking is that one new habit leads to another habit that is stacked on top of that, which leads to another habit that is stacked on top of that. And somewhere in between, maybe for me anyway, I think four, maybe five habits stacked together. And so, I have a morning ritual and in that morning ritual, there is a moment of preparation. For me, that’s getting a cup of coffee and kind of going into that kind of slow mode. And then I typically will go to my couch and turn on the fireplace and that’s a habit. And then I will go through a gratitude exercise on what I’m grateful for the previous day. I’ll go through a vision interaction with myself on what’s important about today and where we are in relation to the long term vision. And then I meditate for 15 minutes.
So all five of those habits are built into one stack during one block of time. And I think in the area of time blocking and productivity, when we start to talk about that and try to get familiar with momentum and micro victories is habit stacking. If you do all these things, you’re much more likely to have your new year’s resolutions last.
Making Your Resolutions Last Through Accountability with a Mortgage Coach
And then of course, it would be wrong for me not to mention that one of the greatest ways for you to have your new year’s resolutions last, because they are goals, is to have accountability: Personal accountability, professional accountability through a coach. If you’ve never had a free coaching consultation with us, we have a beautiful coaching company with a beautiful, beautiful platform that can really help you with your goals and measurement and improvement and really staying with it. Learn more here.
If you have good habits, it changes your perspective. If you change your perspective, you go further. And when you understand that new habits take time, just like old habits didn’t happen overnight, that’s a slow fade, right, then your new year’s resolutions are going to last. Okay? So have fun with this one and happy new year as you roll in 2022.
We’re here for you, here to help you win and here to watch you win. See ya.