Why New Year’s resolutions don’t work

The numbers aren’t good.

In his book The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod shares 95% of New Year’s resolutions fail.

Ouch.

This week we’ve been exploring Trent Hamm‘s ideas around “Developing a Real Plan for a Better Life.”  

What do we do after we create our powerful personal plan for 2021? 

How do we avoid becoming part of the 95% of people who fail to achieve their goals for the coming year?

Two words: Miracle Morning.

I’ve written previously about this fantastic book by Hal Elrod.

Post 1) My Best Life

Post 2) Get up and Hour Earlier

Post 3) One Hour to Change my Life

Post 4) Today Started Last Night

Post 5) No BS

Trent recommends printing out copies of our 2021 plan and placing them around our home so we will see it consistently.  But this step by itself won’t bring our plan to life.  

Achieving our 2021 plan is about creating a new habit where we do a regular check-in with ourselves on where we stand with each of our goals and outline what we will do next and when.    

“Habits are behaviors that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously,” writes Hal.  “Whether you realize it or not, your life has been and will continue to be, created by your habits.  If you don’t control your habits, your habits will control you.”  

Many high achievers block off time soon after waking up to set their intention for the coming day.  Why does this work?  Because we have the most control over the start and end of our days.

One of Hal’s suggested morning practices is journaling.  Writing about our goals consistently is a very simple and very powerful practice.  

Trent suggests a similar strategy:  “Each and every day, at the start of your day, look at those ten big things. Ask yourself what you can do today to move each of them forward.  For example, one of my big initiatives was to meditate for ten minutes each day for the spiritual and mental benefits. Whenever I looked at my big list, I simply added “meditate” to my to-do list for the day. I thought about how it was really important to me and I blocked off time for it.”

The key according to Trent?  

“This should not feel burdensome, but exciting (at least, that’s how it’s been for me). I usually enjoy doing those things and I feel like I’m really making my life better on the whole when I move forward on each thing.”

One final best practice.  At the beginning of each quarter, I utilize Brian Johnson‘s WOOP framework to outline why each goal is important to me and what I am going to do next.

W: the wish.  What specifically am I trying to achieve?

O: the outcome.  What benefits will I experience when I achieve this goal?

O: the obstacles.  What’s in the way?  Is there anything I can anticipate that will stop me from achieving this goal?

P: the plan.  What is my specific plan to deal with the obstacles, achieve my wish, and realize the anticipated outcomes?

In coming weeks, I plan to share elements of my 2021 plan as an example.  Then, periodically I’ll share how I’m doing (to build in a little extra personal accountability!).

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Reflection: For each of my 2021 goals, outline specifically what I want to achieve, how I will benefit when I achieve it, anticipate potential obstacles, and make a plan to achieve the goal.  

Action: Commit to creating a new habit to journal regularly about my 2021 goals.  Make a recurring time block now.

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