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Are You Doing Better Than 80% of Americans?


This week we wrap up the first month of the new year, 2019! Chances are, you joined millions of Americans in creating New Year’s resolutions. Whether you decided to join a gym, eat better, or find a new job, it is a commitment you made to yourself. Typically, you’re excited and motivated to get started on January 1st! However, the chances are that four weeks in, your excitement may be waning.

What was at first invigorating now feels like a chore — feelings of dedication turn to dread. Moreover, you still have 11 months to go in 2019! If you are encountering any feelings similar to the ones listed above, you’re not alone. Whether you believe in the phenomenon of “Blue Monday,” or are just having a hard time sticking to your goals, typically 80% of American New Year’s Resolutions fail by February. To see your goals through to completion and avoid becoming part of this 80%, use these simple strategies.

Revisiting motivational strategies to achieve your goals

In November, we published an article titled “The Only Thing Standing in the Way of Your Goals is You.” This sentiment remains more accurate than ever, especially concerning New Year’s Resolutions. When trying to make any significant lifestyle changes, starting is often the hardest but most crucial step. We want to change and improve, but change is hard. We procrastinate and make excuses like, “I didn’t have enough time to make healthy food today,” or “finding a new job is overwhelming, so maybe I’ll stick around for another year.”

These excuses and delays are what often derails any goals or resolutions we establish to better ourselves. And the fallout from failing to reach them can demean one’s self-esteem even further.

Take back control of your goals

To shake yourself from this mindset and break free from the rut of procrastination, you need to take back control. One simple way to do this is to make your bed each morning. Accomplishing your first task early in your day makes all proceeding tasks easier to manage and conquer. Just ask Navy Adm. William H. McCraven, the man behind this philosophy who says, “Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

Another strategy removes the cushion that is time. Time, when making decisions, can be a killer in the sense that when we have a lot of it, we take too long to make these decisions. Failure to act can trap us in our current situations until we eventually accept the way things are. If you exercise the 5-Second Rule, you can remove this time spent pandering and jump right into action.

When faced with a task, begin counting down from five. It sounds ridiculous, but by attaching a tangible timeline to our decision-making process (even if it is only 5 seconds), we force ourselves into a productive, decision-making role, as opposed to a passive state. After being used regularly, you’ll find yourself making decisions without having to countdown from five, and you’ll come home to a nicely made bed.

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