We are now almost halfway into January and I would bet that a vast majority of people have already fallen off the Resolution Bandwagon.
Does this sound all too familiar? It’s December 31st and you’re enjoying a New Year’s Eve dinner with friends or family. It’s calm now; the action is still a few hours away. As you all gather aroung the table someone asks the inevitable question:
“So, what are your new year’s resolutions?”
And this is where it ends for many as they begin to play into their own fantasies.
“I’m going to start a diet the day after tomorrow.”
“I’m going to stop procrastinating.”
“I’m going to become a better person.”
Pleeeeaasssseee, stop the insanity. Those things are not going to happen, at least not by way of resolutions based on nothing more than wishful thought.
I dont mean to be cynical here, but it’s well-founded. Research suggests that a grand total of only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution. In other words, 92% of our new year’s resolutions fail.
How is this possible? Why? What is behind such a large failure rate?
The problem is that new year’s resolutions (or any other type of whimsical goal) are lacking one key and critical success component: goal clarity
If you are setting a goal, it’s presumed that the objective is to make a change from the present state, such as:
I want to lose weight – I don’t like the look of the “spare tire” around my waste.
I want to increase my sales pace by 50% – I’m tired of being in the middle of the pack each year.
I want to lay off the caffeine – my Starbucks addiction is costing me a fortune.
If I am moving to something, I must first be moving from something.
Here’s the problem: the to is an abstract, but the from is concrete.
My current state is a known reality, it is fact and therefore it is normal. By extension, my future state is an unknown, and therefore it is abnormal.
Even though the current state is less-than-desirable, it is still familiar and, to some degree, comfortable. The comfort of the present trumps the unknown of the future, hindering any kind of transformation.
Ask yourself: How can I make the mysterious future more attainable?
The trick is to make the future a reality in your mind. The brain has a difficult time distinguishing between reality and synthetic reality. That explains why hypnosis and brainwashing actually work. You program a new normal into your mind, you do this with goal clarity.
The idea is to set a goal and then simply sit with it for a time, let it really sink in to your subconscious. Too often we set a goal and then immediately blast out to accomplish the first steps and not knowing what we’re getting into. We quickly find ourselves in unfamiliar territory and retreat back to the known place (the current state).
By setting a goal and then just sitting with it for a while you allow the necessary time it takes for the goal to become normal thought. Goal clarity is about turning that objective into something so normal in your mind that your actions follow suit. I accomplish the goal not because of what I do but because of who I (now) am. My future state has now become normalized.
Sounds crazy right? Great you should try it because nothing else has worked for you so far.
Set a goal. Pick something that is important, realistic and uncomfortable. Then set a period of time where you are just sitting with your new goal. Look at it every day, but don’t take any action right away.
Over time you will discover that the goal becomes a reality in your mind. It becomes normal. It becomes comfortable. Most importantly, once this idea or concept becomes more normal it becomes realistically achievable.
Leverage goal clarity – and you can change your world.