New Year’s Resolutions

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We are what we repeatedly do.

As we approach the new year, it is a time of reflection and contemplation. We evaluate the successes and the areas of opportunity of the previous year, and shine light on the changes that we want to make for the year to come. We determine January 1st (or 2nd) as our start date – and then continue, as is, until those dates arrive. We have grandeur visions of losing weight, getting fit, making more money, reading more, spending more time with the kids, spending less time on social media, getting a promotion, squatting 300/500 pounds etc.. Whatever the vision or set of New Year’s Resolutions we set for ourselves, they sit on a pedestal of potential through the month of December.

Suddenly, it’s January 1st (or 2nd). We start getting after it.

– we meal prep (for a week), go to the gym (for a month), work a couple more hours (until we get fed up), plan a playdate with the kids (January 16th), delete Instagram and Facebook (or at least remove them from our home screen – for a day), set up a 1 x 1 (with one leader), start (but never seem to finish) a new squat program –

February, March, and April – these resolutions lose their appeal and fade from our frontal lobes. They are replaced by old habits, mundane tasks, and the “urgencies” of our everyday lives.

As much as we want to believe that 2019 will be different; it won’t be – unless, WE make a change – rather, a series of changes which will set us up for both long-term and short-term achievement of these grandeur New Year’s Resolutions.

The FIRST change must occur during the actual process of setting New Year’s Resolutions.

So: let me introduce to you an effective approach to goal setting, which can be used for your New Year’s Resolutions or any other goals you choose to set for yourself in the upcoming year.

Goal Setting 101

Step 1: Determine Your Outcome Goal

  • Make it SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound)
  • WRITE IT DOWN
  • This would be considered a “long-term goal”; however, “long-term” is subjective. Define it for yourself.

Step 2: What is your “Why”?

  • Ask yourself this question at least three times.
  • Give yourself time to explore your “why” and determine whether your outcome goal aligns with your “why”. If it doesn’t, reconsider your outcome goal.
  • Be vulnerable during this self-exploration. Figuring out what makes you tick, what fulfills you, what you see your purpose as etc. is an emotional and arduous process. Let your vulnerability and honesty teach you.

Step 3: Determine Your Process Goals

  • What are the daily/weekly/monthly habits/actionables that you can do to accomplish your outcome goal?
  • The accomplishment of your process goals will positively reinforce the pursuit of your outcome goal.
  • Remember: you are what you repeatedly do.

Step 4: Create an Accountability Checkpoint

  • Check-in with yourself on a regular basis.
    OR
  • Check in with someone else.
  • Holding yourself accountable or having someone else hold you accountable to your process goals will make all the difference.

Step 5: Call Out Your Recycled Excuses (and hang them on the wall)

  • Identify the excuses that you have made for yourself which have prevented you from achieving your outcome goal in the past.
  • This requires brutal honesty.
  • If you are having difficulty identifying these excuses, elicit candid feedback from someone that you trust (the people closest to you are often the ones who are able to call these out – and quite easily)
  • Once identified, put them next to your written down outcome goal – on the fridge, in the bathroom – for the world to see. Consciousness is the first step to making a change. Having your recycled excuses in plain sight will remind you of the obstacles you have to consciously overcome in order to achieve your outcome goal.

Step 6: Know the Difference Between Motivation and Discipline

  • Motivation is a fleeting state that leads to action when desire is present.
  • Discipline is a learned habit that leads to action with or without desire.
  • You will never always feel motivated, but you can always choose to be disciplined.

Happy New Year and Happy Goal Setting my friends. Let’s get after it in 2019!

Your Coach and Friend, Nikki Matarazzo

Follow me @think_out_loud_1 for more tips and tricks on goal setting, mindset and more …