As many as 45% of us make New Year’s Resolutions every year. Care to hazard a guess as to how many of us succeed with those resolutions?
A mere 8%, according to a recent study by the University of Scranton.
That’s a 92% failure rate. It means if you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution, chances are you haven’t been able to keep it — possible several years running. But it also means you’re not alone. If so many of us have trouble sticking to our resolutions, clearly something must be off with the way we’re going about it.
The Trouble With New Year’s Resolutions
There are plenty of reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail. Experts say it boils down to several big mistakes:
- Unrealistic goals
- Vague goals
- Too many goals
- Lack of support
- Negative attitude
- Getting overwhelmed by the end goal instead of focusing on small steps and celebrating small wins
Do any of those sound familiar to you? We’re willing to bet they do.
So, what are you to do? Give up on trying to make yourself or your life better? Of course not. You just need to find a better way to go after your goals — one that addresses all those common traps New Year’s resolutions fall into and provides the structure, support and inspiration
And we’ve got just the ticket. We’d like to help you make 2015 the year you finally achieve that goal of yours… by not making any New Year’s resolutions. Instead, it’s time to focus on creating your Streak.
The Power of a Streak
If you’ve tried our coffee or looked around our site, you may have heard us mention Joe DiMaggio’s record-breaking 56-game hitting Streak. It’s a big part of our namesake’s history, but more than than, we think it’s a perfect example of how dedication, determination and a Give It All mindset can turn small daily steps into something huge.
Joe Dimaggio didn’t achieve the most famous records (and unbroken) in all of sports by aiming to be a legend; he built it by approaching each at-bat with the same dedication and devotion to personal excellence — every game, every time.
He didn’t step up to the plate thinking of all the hits he’d made up to that point, envisioning what it would be like if he made history, or worrying about what would happen if he failed. He stepped up to the plate and focused on hitting the pitch that was coming at him, right then and there. He focused on giving his best in the moment, and those moments over time added up.
The same approach can help you accomplish whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.
Big Goals Are Easier Broken Down
Any big goal seems intimidating when you look only at the final result. From losing 50 pounds to writing a novel or starting a business, the goal can seem so far from where you are now that you wonder how you’ll ever be able to get there.
But what will get you there isn’t focusing on the end result; it’s focusing on all the little steps that lead up to it.
Want to get in better shape? It begins with showing up, every day, and resolving to exercise for 30 minutes, whether you feel like it or not.
Want to write a novel? It begins with sitting down, every day, setting a timer for 30 minutes and writing until it goes off — whether you feel the creative genius that day or not.
These small steps may not seem like much in and of themselves, but therein lies the magic. Small steps are totally doable. Small steps aren’t nearly as intimidating as our big, huge goals. Yet dedicating ourselves to completing these small steps, day in and day out to the best of our ability, is what makes big, huge goals possible.
Consistency + Positive Momentum = Big Things
Consider Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” strategy. When asked for advice by a young comic, Seinfeld shared that he made a habit of writing jokes every single day. He tracked his progress over the course of weeks, months and years by placing a large red “X” over that day on the calendar.
The key to success wasn’t in writing brilliant jokes every single time he sat down; it was in creating a chain of Xs and not allowing himself to break that chain. It was in sitting down — whether he felt like it or not, whether he produced anything good or not — and simply writing.
There is power in building positive momentum. Just like a historic hitting streak is created with each at-bat, every day you have the chance to make progress towards your dreams by doing one thing, consistently and to the best of your ability, to get you closer to your goal. Every day is your opportunity to step up to the plate.
Get Ready to Start Your Streak
We’re about to unveil an exciting challenge for 2015, and we hope you’ll say, “I’m in!” It’s a challenge that will help you get closer to your big goals and make the New Year one in which you finally take hold of those dreams you’ve always secretly wanted to achieve.
To learn more, head on over here and enter your email to be notified about how you can create your own legendary streak in the year to come. And stay tuned for upcoming posts that will help you get ready.
We look forward to seeing what you can do in 2015!