2016 is upon us. Each new year brings new opportunities and new challenges. People start the year with huge ambitions, only to fall back into their old habits within a matter of weeks. Their intentions are good, but they lack the follow through to cause change to happen in their life. Remember, intentions without action is useless.
What causes people to fail to change? It is rarely a lack of opportunity. Each new day provides a new opportunity for you to change the story you're writing.
The real challenge is a lack of prioritization and focus on the true problem. It is easy to set a goal. The hard part is crafting the strategy on how you will achieve it, then following through with the actions needed.
The good news is this cycle can be broken. You have the ability to break out of the same old routine and actually achieve the goals you want in 2016 and beyond. Here is the secret.
Create a Strategy, Not a Goal
You need more than goals. You need a strategy to achieve your goal. You must create actionable steps that break down the larger goals into manageable, bite sized pieces.
A goal is intangible. Your brain needs to connect actions today with a long term goal. You won't change your life until you change something you do daily. The goal is important, but the change happens when you execute the strategy.
Be Aware of the Environment
The environment is important. Ask yourself, "Is this environment helping me achieve my goal?" If your goal is to lose weight, it is not healthy to be around bad food decisions. Your willpower is limited and decreased throughout the day. Don't put yourself in a bad situation that will compromise your ability to follow through on your goals. Be aware of the environment and how it helps you achieve your goals.
It is easy to say you want to lose weight in 2015 while relaxing on your couch, but the reality of sticking to that commitment when it's late and your hungry is completely different. The way you help ensure your success is by modifying the environment. Don't put yourself in places that make it hard for you to make wise choices.
If you put down a resolution or goal because you think someone else wants you to do it, you won't be successful. You must own it! You need the internal motivation to achieve it. Without that motivation, I guarantee you it won't last and you will feel like a failure. If you can't own it, don't write it down.
It is better to complete a few things very well than to do many things halfway.
One of the biggest pitfalls to guarantee failure is to be unrealistic with your goals. Your goal needs to be realistic yet powerful. You want to stretch and grow, but do so in a way that is healthy and possible. The changes of going from unknown writer to New York Times bestselling author in a year is highly unlikely. A realistic goal is to reach X amount of subscribers or write consistently. Be realistic and do not set yourself for failure by biting off more than you can chew.