Quitting only robs you of a chance to succeed.
It’s that time of year again. You know, that time when many people are thinking about doing things they could have been doing. The average scenario of new-year change goes something like this. It’s New Year’s Eve. Dan, my example character, is a twenty-nine year old that’s grossly out of shape. He waddles into his favorite hang-out, the local sports bar. He passes through the lingering smoke in the restaurant and waves at a few other regulars, as he makes his way to his favorite stool at the bar. He sits. The bartender asks,
“What can I get for you Dan?”
“Three chimichangas and a whisky-wine brew. You know, my usual,” Dan says. The bartender puts the order in. A little later, he returns with Dan’s food. He places it before Dan. Dan salutes the bartender, picks up his fork, and starts eating. As he’s sipping on his 450 calorie drink, the bar tender asks him,
“You have any New Year’s resolutions this year?”
“Oh yeah! I’m going to lose ten pounds by the end of January,” says Dan.
“Yeah? Don’t you think you should eat something different from your usual?”
“No. I don’t start until tomorrow. I might as well enjoy myself now, right?” The bar tenders smiles at Dan as Dan finishes off his brew.
January 2nd, Dan is back in the bar chugging more bear. Since his declaration to the bartender, he hasn’t thought about dieting at all, but he has had two ten-second flashes of thought about going to the gym.
The following week, Dan visits the gym twice, one time for each flash of consciousness about exercise. At the end of his second workout, he tells the gym owner,
“Damn exercise is going to give me a heart attack. I’ve got to quit this.” He never returned. The exercise was hard for him because Dan hasn’t moved his body to exert any kind of energy since he was in high school.
February 1st, Dan steps on his home scale. It reads: #@? In other words, Dan has not lost a pound. Feeling disappointed and defeated, he leaves his house and heads to his favorite place, his comfortable place. At the bar, the bar tender asks him how he’s doing on his resolutions. Dan replies,
“Awe, I quit. What’s the use? My resolutions don’t come true anyway.”
Dan failed for a lot of reasons.
He never believed he could do it. He never put a date on his intentions. He never changed his thinking, and he never gave himself a chance at achieving his goal. Could Dan lose the weight? Yes, I believe he can. There’s is conflicting research results out there, about how long it takes a person to quit on his or her new year’s resolutions. They say all who are going to quit will have done so by February in that same year it was made. Alarming? It should be. Here is why most people who make New Year resolutions fail.
- They don’t know how to set a goal. Research says eighty percent of people don’t set goals for themselves. That tells me that eighty percent of the people who make new year resolutions don’t know how to go about it, or what to do with it once they have made it.
Weak resolve. Of those who do make the resolution, only ten percent of them actually attain the goal. The others fail because they give up when it gets hard.
Paralysis analysis. These individuals are the ones getting ready, to get ready, and they get stuck there. Constant contemplation and study aids the habit of procrastination. It’s possible the procrastination is related to the fear of failure or the fear of success.
Lack of patience. These individuals don’t hang in there long enough to figure out the missing key to their success. In most cases, the person setting the goal is going to do or be something they never have before, or has become lax in the task and needs to step it up. Quitting robs them of a chance to succeed. They need time and a strategy to figure it out.
Now you know what not to do because it sabotages your efforts. Here is what you should decide to do.
Set the goal. Write it down on paper and put a date on it – period. A goal is the desire for the manifestation of a result at a specific time in the future. If the goal has no date on it, it’s a wish.
Speak your goal as if it were already so. The bible says you are snared by the words of your mouth, Proverbs 6:2. Speaking your goals to yourself programs your brain to change your self-image to become who you need to become to get your goal.
Make the goal a priority. I don’t know about you, but every day life tries to get in the way of my activities. I handle it by balancing and prioritizing my activities. Balance – that’s the key word. If you aren’t careful, the events of life will suck you into its vortex, and at the end of the day, you’ll find you’ve accomplished nothing. This happens a lot less when an activity is prioritized and planned. If two things collide, pick the most important and put the other on tomorrow’s to-do list.
Stay away from the voices of doom. This goes without saying. You know who they are, but it also includes the one inside your own head. Watch your own self-talk. When you are trying to accomplish something, don’t join the other side! It’s hard enough doing it when you are on your own side.
Don’t be afraid of difficulty. Remember, you are setting out to do something you’ve never done before. You don’t know all that’s involved in attaining your task unless you’ve done it before. It’s like traveling a mountain road; you can’t see all the twists and turns involved until you get on down the road a bit.
Don’t be afraid to miss it. Is it over if you don’t hit the goal on time? It could be for work, and I’m not saying don’t try to. I’m saying don’t freeze up because you don’t make it. You still have a chance, if you aren’t dead. Readjust and keep on trucking. Sometimes, you are doing the right thing; you just haven’t done it long enough to get better at judging how long it will take you.
Believe you can achieve it. We are surrounded by such negativity in the world that if we don’t watch it, we’ll get suck in and adapt the viewpoints of the negative crowd. Habitual negativity will eventually equal a negative self-image. You can’t accomplish anything of significance with a negative self-image. Choose not to accept the negative. Believe in yourself by faith, not evidence. The evidence will appear.
All of these steps are important keys in your success strategy. The believing is the most important, because believing comes before the doing. If you can’t believe it, you can’t even start to do it. Write that resolution down, put a date on it, and get busy. You’ll be surprised at what you will accomplish, even if you don’t hit the mark on time.
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