5 Ways to keep your New Year’s Resolutions

5 Ways to keep your New Year’s Resolutions

Finding a treadmill at the gym in January is like finding a parking spot at the mall the weekend before Christmas.  It’s ridiculously tough!  We all know why.  We also know that by March most of that same New Year’s resolution crowd will be gone.

If you are someone who decided to make some New Year’s resolutions this year, this quick article can serve as the difference maker that has you still running on that treadmill in March.

These aren’t special techniques that work well for some, and not for others.  These are proven strategies that apply to any goal or dream.  Before I even get to the strategies, it’s super important to be clear on this:

Ideas don’t work unless you do the work.

Results don’t change unless the activities change.  Plain and simple.  Well I guess it’s not so simple or this article wouldn’t even be needed.  But it’s the truth.  You have to understand that you need to change your habits and your belief system if you want to change.  John Maxwell says it perfectly, “You will never change your life, until you change something you do daily.  The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

Understanding that if you want to change your life you have to change your behaviors, is the first step to actually changing.  Ok, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the article.  Unless your New Year’s goal was to lose a bunch of weight, then let’s get to the Kale chips and water of the article.

5 Ways to keep your New Year’s Resolutions

1.  Make it a goal, to start setting goals

Research shows that only 3% of people set goals for themselves throughout the year.  Yet, research also shows that 45% of people make New Year’s Resolutions.  See the problem?  New Year’s Resolutions are really just a fancy way of saying goals, and goal setting just like all disciplines takes practice.  If we want to get better at something, then we need to make it part of our life, not just something we try at the beginning of the year.

Remember, goal setting is a skill.  If you were trying to learn to play the piano, what would be your approach?  You would start to learn a few notes at a time right?  You wouldn’t expect yourself to be able to play full songs by day two.  Treat your goals the same way.  Start with small goals and just start to develop the habit of stretching yourself and reaching for more.  If you are going to kick off the New Year with a dedication to change, then set a resolution to set target goals each month of the year.

The first goal is to become the type of person who sets and accomplishes goals.

2.  Get back on track quickly

This is a big one!

A very important thing to remember is that you will get off track at some point, we all do.  A huge difference maker is that successful people regroup faster and learn from mistakes.  When you get off track don’t throw your hands up in defeat and convince yourself you can’t do it.  Put the past in the past and start fresh from today.  This happens so often in weight loss or fitness goals.  We show some good discipline, maybe even for a week or two, but then one night we order the cheesecake, and bam, the whole thing unravels.  When you get off track from your goals, whether they are fitness, weight, spiritual, financial, or whatever, don’t beat yourself up when you get off track.  This only makes it harder to start again.

Getting off track does not mean you can’t get back on.

Allow yourself to regroup.  Be tough on yourself, but also understand that you are human and you are going to make mistakes.  Success is not a straight line.  You are going to have ups and downs.  When you have downs, put it behind you and keep moving forward.

3.  Be very clear about your goals

Vague goals equal vague results.

Make sure you have a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish.  The process and systems you establish will ultimately decide whether you reach your goals (oops, I gave away strategy #4), but you still need clarity on the big vision.

You can be the best marksman in the world, but if you don’t know where the target is, you will never hit it.  Be very clear about what it is you are trying to accomplish and why.

4.  Focus on the process

Ok, you have the big vision in mind, now emotionally detach from it.  Huh??

People want quick results, but the reality is there is no easy journey for wealth or health.  It takes hard work every day.  You have to take it day by day and focus on the process.

Focus on the process and don’t become emotionally attached to the results.

The process is where we establish good habits.  For example, saying I want to lose 10 pounds, or I want to earn x amount of dollars, only focuses on the results and not the plan or habits to get there.  Be very specific when setting your goals, and be specific about the process or the schedule, not just the results.  Don’t get emotionally attached to losing 10 pounds, get emotionally attached to your commitment to work out.

Let me put it this way – If you focused all your energy on just the results, would you reach your goals?  Maybe, but probably not.  What if you focused all your energy on the process, would you reach your goals?  More than likely.  You can’t focus on the finish line and not train for the actual race.  Success comes from discipline around the fundamentals and the process.

Use the results as a measurement to identify if changes need to be made, but don’t become emotionally attached to them.  Focus on the process, with the big vision in mind.

5.  Develop a strong why – You have the goals, you have identified the process not just the intended results, now you need to make sure you uncover your “why.” Developing your why is the most important thing you can do to keep specific goals or resolutions.

If your home was on fire, would you run in to save your favorite hat?  No.  What if your child was in there?  Now obviously, that is an extreme example and more about risk/reward, but the point is, if you have a strong enough why, you can achieve things you never even thought possible.

Write down your goals, uncover the process you will follow, and then write the reason you are doing it.  Dig deep on this one.  Don’t just say I’m working out to lose weight.  That isn’t a strong why.  Write, I’m working out because I am making a promise to myself that I will run that marathon this year.  Or, I’m working out because I’m sick and tired of waiting to chase my dreams because I think I need to lose “the weight” first.  Or, I’m waking up 2 hours earlier every day this week because I want to start following my passion and make my dreams a reality.

If you have a clear picture and a burning desire for why you are doing something, you will find a way to make it last.

Develop a why that is greater than any obstacle you will inevitably face. 

Cheers to a new year filled with abundance, personal growth, and love.

Make it an awesome year,

Kevin Slagle

Another awesome article about taking action this year is Life Lesson from a Dollhouse.

Life Lesson from a Dollhouse

Life Lesson from a Dollhouse

Christmas is here, and for me, that means Daddy Santa is ready to start putting together dollhouses, bikes, and princess palaces.  The toy building challenge for me tonight is a dollhouse.  I rank myself average to below average at building things.  That’s an honest assessment, not one that I’m particularly proud of but honest.  I’m not incompetent but I am also far from MacGyver.  Despite my mechanical struggles, there was a very powerful life lesson reminder that I uncovered tonight.

I tend to take a very systematic approach to building things.  Opposite of the male stereotype, I follow and rely on all the instructions.  I lay out the instructions very orderly in front of me and line up all the tools I will need.  The funny thing is my wife will usually have her Mommy Santa project halfway done by the time I even start mine.  As I look over, she does indeed have a princess palace nearly complete.  She does it by sight, no instructions needed.  To protect my masculine ego from taking too much of a hit, I do some quick pushups and go grab an IPA from the fridge.  As I sit down to build this dollhouse a very interesting thought runs through my mind.

Would it make any sense to read this instruction manual, and then go out and find another instruction manual to read?  Would it make any sense to find 10 different instruction manuals that all gave me techniques on how to build this dollhouse?

Of course not!

Yet isn’t this what many of us do in our own lives?

See, the issue for many of us is not information.  We all have the manuals we need.  The issue is taking action.  Just as it doesn’t make any sense to read multiple instruction manuals on how to build a dollhouse, it also doesn’t make sense to read every book in the self-help or health section, yet not make any changes.

I’m not suggesting you stop reading.  I will be publishing my first book this year, and I would love you to read it.  What I am saying is that at some point we all have to realize that more information is not what we need.  We need to take the information and apply it to our lives

Is it better to read 5 books a month, or read 1 book a month and relentlessly apply the principles learned from the reading?

It’s so important for all of us to realize that the old cliché, knowledge is power, no longer is true.  We all have access to knowledge in the digital age.  The difference maker is taking the knowledge and putting it into action.

“Action always beats intention.”

So what is really stopping us from taking action?

There are a ton of answers to that question, but a common one we all share in some capacity is fear.  Fear is what prevents most people from reaching their dreams.  Sure, we need habits or rituals in place to make it easier.  Sure we need a strong sense of why we are doing what we are doing.  But before all that, we need to push through our fear.

“Action conquers fear.”

As 2017 approaches, I am challenging myself to take even more action towards my goals and dreams.  2016 was a big year for me personally but I know I’m capable of more.

And I know you’re capable of more.

I believe deep down that all of us know that we have the potential to be more, have more, give more, and love more.

As we charge towards 2017 I think it’s time for all of us to get a little more real with ourselves.  We all know what we need to do.  We know the changes we need to make to lose the weight, or to take our business to the next level, or to become the husband, wife, mother or father that we know we can be.  We know what we need to do!!  We just need to do it!

Make a commitment to yourself that 2017 will be the year that you develop the habit of taking action.  New Year’s Resolution #1 Take Action!

Speaking of taking action, I better get this dollhouse built!

 

From my family to yours, have a wonderful holiday season.  I hope 2017 is filled with abundance, personal growth, and love.

Kevin Slagle

 

Another great post about taking action is Quantity vs Quality.

 

 

One-Day Contract

 One-Day Contract

Ask any fan of football, or any fantasy football owner, and they will probably tell you that professional football players are known to have the best year of their career during a contract year.

A contract year means that the player is on the last year of their current contract and will be looking to either extend their current deal, or sign a new contract.

In other words, they are looking to get paid.

In observation of this, Rick Pitino NCAA basketball coach and author of The One-Day Contract, shares that he wishes players could be on a one-day contract so that they gave their best every play, or every game.  Clearly with the threat of injury, this wouldn’t make sense from the perspective of the players, but you get the point Pitino is trying to make.  The one-day contract means you give it everything you have.  Your tomorrow is only guaranteed by your effort and production today.

This is such a powerful concept that we can apply to our own lives.

As Pitino puts it in One-Day Contract, “Ask yourself this question, whatever your job is, whatever you’re working at right now, how would life be different if you were on a one-day contract?  When you adopt a one-day contract mentality, it becomes less about what you were paid or what happened in the past then it is about what you can do today, and how you can make the most of what time you have.”

The elite performers, whether it be in sports, business, or in life, are able to perform at a high level each and every day.

Consistency is a mark of a champion.

Consistency is what separates mediocre from great, or great from elite. How consistently can you bring you’re A-game to whatever it is you are doing.

The Navy Seals have a warrior’s code that includes the commitment to earn your Trident every day.  It’s not just about getting through training and becoming a Navy Seal.  Once you become a Seal, you then have to earn the right to call yourself a Seal every day.

Bringing your absolute best every single day is a difference maker.

What would your day look like if you were on a one-day contract?

How would you perform at work if you were told your salary would be determined by how well you did today?

How would you perform as a father or husband if your actions today decided your ability to be a father or husband tomorrow?

These are all great journaling questions that I think can provide you great self-discovery value.

As always, I share this not from the mountain top but alongside you. We are on this journey together.  My journey is different from yours because success is different for me than it is for you.  The journey we are on together is the journey to be the best that we can be.  So I share this blog, and everything on this site with respect for your journey and with great humility.  We are on this journey together.  This blog is for me as much as it is for you.

Make today an awesome day!

Kevin

The One-Day Contract by Rick Pitino can be found in the Book Recommendations tab.

 

 

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