According to the University of Scranton, only 8% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions achieve them. I must say, I was surprised to hear the numbers were so low. I was hoping for at least a 30% success rate. This immediately made me think and wonder why. Why do so many people give up something they supposedly want? I am not big on making New Year’s Resolutions as I am constantly setting out goals and things I want to do, change, and incorporate into my life. But as I was flipping through last year’s journal to find a quote for my book, I noticed something different. Instead of the never ending list of things to do or the list of goals completed, I noticed that sometime before January 1, 2019, and after October 19, 2019, I wrote down without a date “for 2019 what I want to do” and I divided it up into 3 main categories: Create, Market, and Do for Myself. To my surprise, I was not only stunned to find that I had in fact written some version of a New Year’s Resolution, but thrilled that I actually completed and achieved them all.
Under Create, I wrote: my website, blog, book.
Under Market, I wrote: myself.
Under Do for Myself, I wrote: learn another language and train.
Whelp! I had done it all! As I sit here typing one day before the end of the year, I realized that this morning I finished reviewing the final version of www.elyrosario.com, which will go live next week. I was laying on my couch last night finalizing, reviewing and going over the edits my editor did for my book “Own your Fire” to be published in the spring of 2020 and I am currently writing my 10th blog, 2 of them which are already live on https://medium.com/@elizabethrosario
But I am not done! I spent the last 6 months marketing myself throughout the community and meeting with at least one new person every week since August. I have also, fearfully at first, began posting my personal quotes on https://www.instagram.com/elyrunslife/ and https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.rosario.940 to begin talking about my book, my interests and my passions. Lastly, under do for myself, I wanted to learn another language and train. Eight years ago I bought the Rosetta Stone for Mandarin and it has been sitting on my bookshelf since. This year, I uploaded it to my new computer and I spend 10 minutes a day practicing. I am not even close to being trilingual, but I continue to learn more and more each day. My workouts have also been consistent all year long. It is not training, it is maintaining. I ran a short 4 mile run yesterday that opened my heart, lifted my spirits and thoroughly kicked my ass leaving me filled with that high on life and exhausted feeling I get from a good and much needed sweat.
After I read that forgotten page on my journal, I got a giant smile on my face and I texted my friend Mike and typed: “I did it! I am part of the 8%”
As I think on the amount of people that never make it, I want to share some useful steps to help you stay focused, motivated and with your eyes on the ultimate goal not just all year long, but lifelong.
Remember, in order to succeed you have to reprogram your mind to do something different. What you are currently doing is what you no longer want and what you want to change.
6 suggestions on how to be part of the 8%
1- Write your goals in a place where you can see them daily!
Until it becomes an everyday habit where you no longer have to think about doing it, wake up and remind yourself daily of it. Do not hide it in a journal or on the notes of your phone never to be seen again. Print it out and enlarge it or better yet, get creative and write them on a poster board. Read them daily, preferably when you wake up and right before you go to bed and use it as a daily reminder to keep going. Although I had mine on my journal I was constantly working towards them because I had them on large poster boards in my living room walls as my goals.
2- Dont even start with the excuses.
We all have them. We can all use them. We can all justify them to suit our momentary needs. However, they are completely unnecessary and will not serve you long term. And frankly we are all sick of hearing them; they are not new. Save yourself from them and just don’t even start.
3- Understand that nothing happens overnight.
In a society completely dominated by instant gratification through social media, same day or next day purchases, and even magic pills, surgeries and injections for all of our ailments, how can I make you understand that only a sunset happens overnight? It will take time to reach your goals and there may be days, weeks and even months where you may not think any progress is being made. This is when you focus even more and just keep going. And if you have to, revert back to suggestion number 1 to remind yourself of what you want to accomplish.
4-Know the reason and meaning behind your goals.
Unless you are just doing what everyone else is doing and googling what the top 5 New Year’s Resolutions should be and copying them, know the reason behind your goals. There is a reason why you want to change certain things and in order to do that, you must actively work to change your patterns, behaviors, beliefs, your lifestyle, and sometimes even the people around you. If it was easy, the 92% that fails would do it. This might take some digging and it may even cause you some tears, but know why and remind yourself of this on the hard days. One of the reasons I wanted to write a book was to give a voice to those that didn’t feel like they had one. To share my truth in a way that was healing for me while being able to help others, to create change and start a conversation. I would have never finished if I didn’t have this in mind ahead of time. This kept me going. The idea of being able to help others because of my scars kept me motivated. It wasn’t just about me anymore and that made it real.
5- Celebrate the milestones to keep you going.
Realizing how far you have come from day one and being able to truly notice the growth, learning, and your ongoing motivation is powerful. Celebrate it! Enjoy it! Share it! But here is the catch, do not celebrate it with the same thing you are trying to stay away from. If you are trying to be healthier and eat right, do not celebrate with chicken fingers and fries. If you are trying to lower your alcohol consumption do not pour yourself a glass. But rather reward yourself emotionally, not with food, gifts, alcohol or drugs but with love. Fill your soul with the new things you have learned that bring you joy. Surround yourself with those that have helped you achieve your goals as no one can do it alone. Remind yourself how far you have come and tell yourself you still have work to do. Throw a mini private party for one and write down how that feels.
6- Don’t stop when it gets hard.
This is what separates the 8% from the 92%. You get tired, you lose your motivation, you don’t see any progress. You start telling yourself you will get it done tomorrow. You decide to take a break. It is in these moments when you need to work harder than before. This is what separates those that make it from those that do not. When I go out on a run and see a hill in front of me, my thoughts are never “oh shit”, but rather “I’m going to tackle this shit.” Yes! It’s hard. Yes, sometimes I walk other parts of my run. But a hill, a hill will never be walked but rather tackled hard because that is the hill that is going to make me stronger than I was the day before.
The odds are definitely against you so make sure you set yourself up for success. Have fun writing your New Year’s Resolution and enjoy the journey ahead!
Here is to being part of that 8%