Every year, people set out to chase a New Year’s Resolution, and 2024 is no different. It’s only been a couple of days, and I’ve already seen people in the Inland Northwest celebrating their new changes, their goals, and their commitments for the year ahead.
Unfortunately, like so many years before, I’m seeing people make the same exact New Year’s mistake. There’s a reason why, according to the Fisher College of Business, over 43% of Americans quit their New Year’s Resolution by the end of January, and 91% end up quitting, at some point, by the end of the year.
There is a three-step sequence to goal accomplishment that I subscribe to and which most everyone skips. And if you skip this sequence or try to do things out of order, you’ll likely be part of the failure statistic for this year. However, I believe that if you follow this sequence, you’ll be one of the rare 9% to actually accomplish their New Year’s Resolutions for the entire year.
First, we must be, then we must do, and finally we will have.
I think the biggest challenge is that most people skip to step 2, doing something (or worse, they spend all day dreaming of having in step 3 without doing any of the work of doing!). I’m here to tell you that you absolutely MUST start at step 1 and move forward from there.
Let’s take a gander at situations where people succeed and fail with this sequence.
The most extreme example I can think of is lottery ticket winners. Suddenly they skip to step 3 and have great riches. But what happens? Over one-third of lottery winners end up bankrupt, and a terrifying number end up dead shortly after winning (by their hand or the hand of others).
Why? Primarily, because they didn’t change their self-image of themselves into someone who was financially responsible or good with money. They also didn’t spend time doing the saving and budgeting and establishing the habits to maintain that money. They skipped to the end and failed.
In my world, as a health and fitness coach, I see a huge influx of New Year’s people in the gym every January, but you know that the crowds quickly thin out before Valentine’s day. Why do you think that is? Because, for most people, they think doing a new workout plan is the place to start being healthy.
What about the people who stick with it? The secret to people who stuck with it is that they changed their self-image. They chose to BE a healthy, active person. If you identify as a runner, your actions become obvious…you run. If you change your self-image to being a person who is healthy and active, then sticking with the gym becomes obvious and automatic.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen this same success and failure in my family around alcohol use. Some have successfully stuck with sobriety because they decided they wanted to be a sober person, and others have struggled to beat the bottle because they start at step 2 with their drinking behavior.
“People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.” Bob Proctor
“All personal growth is the creation of a new identity…” Reverend Bonnie Barnard
In my health and weight loss coaching with clients, we do a couple in-depth exercises that go beyond the surface goals (step 3: What results do you want to Have) so that we can identify who we really want to be, and how healthy habits allow that identity to unfold. We do this right out the gate through my True Goals Exercise and my Destination Postcard Exercise because I know, for my clients to win, they have to be a healthy winner.
As a reader of the Huckleberry Press, and to give you the right start on your New Year’s Resolution this year, I want to extend those two exercises to you on me – no cost to you. If you believe this would help you beat the statistics, please email me at Steven@HealthREBELs.us with the subject line Huckleberry Press.
This year, you can do more and have more because you can BE more, first.
Steve Hicks is the “Anti-Fitness” coach who hates the athletic standards of the fitness industry. He teaches his clients realistic healthy lifestyles that are easy to stick with and feel great. Follow him at @HealthREBELsUS and www.HealthREBELs.us.