A New Year, A New You: How to Succeed in 2014!

Zane with his wife and daughter. :)
Zane with his wife and daughter. 🙂

Whether you like it or not, this year is ending and another one is beginning.  You know what that means. Yep. New Year’s resolutions galore! A time for setting ambitious goals and following through. You can be certain they’re going to flood the headlines and everyone will be talking about them. But let’s be honest, the majority of people only stay true to their resolutions for a few weeks at most. But not you – not this year – you’re going to keep your resolution, follow through, and achieve your goals.

Do you look forward to this bittersweet time of year? Is it a time you eagerly set new goals and conquer them? Or, do you cringe thinking of ALL the previous New Year’s resolutions you enthusiastically adopted, but severely neglected? Perhaps it’s just another time of year you don’t pay too much attention to.

Regardless of what happened previous years, this year I want to offer a few basic suggestions to help you create a New Year’s resolution you can successfully create and be certain to conquer!

So what’s the trick? Why am I so positive that this year you will succeed? It’s because this year, we are going to take a very simple approach. In fact, I’ve already touched on the first two tips. Really, I did you ask? Yes, you need to keep it simple, and second, you need to remain positive, optimistic, and believe that you CAN and WILL succeed! I know this sounds trivial, but it’s crucial.

Here are the ingredients for concocting your foolproof New Year’s resolution!

1.    Keep it simple

The heading says it all. This sounds like a trivial suggestion, but perhaps the most essential. You can’t set an unrealistic goal and expect to succeed. And, if you did, would you be happy?  Let’s be truthful.  If mountain climbing is your ambitious New Year’s resolution you wouldn’t make your resolution to climb Mount Everest.  You’d set smaller goals first, and if you found yourself exceling and enjoying what you were doing, you’d maybe one day aspire to climb Everest.  The point here is that you want to be realistic – simplicity is key! Don’t fall victim to the buzz of New Year’s resolutions and setting preposterous goals that will predictably lead to failure.

2.    Be selfish

Yes, I’m telling you to be selfish. Why? Because the likelihood of any individual following through on a New Year’s resolution is much greater if their own best interest and happiness is in mind.  Consequently, if you are happier, so will the people you interact with and encounter on a day-to-day basis. A New Year’s resolution that states, “I want to be more polite and sociable at my workplace” is certainly admirable and obtainable, but more likely to be achievable if restated in a way that more directly benefits the person making the resolution.   For example, try focusing on what would make you more polite and sociable at work.  Why are you impolite and unsociable at your workplace? Maybe it’s because you need more free time with you family, or you want more time to participate in your favorite hobbies.  Perhaps you’d like more free time to invest in living a healthier lifestyle.  Basically, I’m saying to treat the disease not just the symptoms. Focus on bolstering yourself so that the positive externalities can be felt and embraced by others.

3.    Spread the word

Let others know what you are doing! Numerous studies have reported greater success in achieving goals when you let others know about them.  Why is that? It’s because of accountability.  Not only do you not want to let yourself down, but do you really want to let your family down, or the 1,000 friends/followers you let know on Facebook and Twitter?  Probably not. So pick a resolution you don’t mind sharing with others, spread the word, and keep yourself accountable.

4.    Adopt a quantifiable resolution and reward yourself

Although not necessary, it can be very beneficial to choose a resolution that you can measure.  This way you can assess your progress and reward yourself as you get closer to achieving your goal(s).  A few examples could include the following:

  • I want to reduce my mile time by 30 seconds
  • I aspire to earn $2,000 extra dollars for my kid’s college fund this year.
  • I seek to reduce my body fat percentage from x to y.

Make the rewards something you enjoy doing.  The bigger the incentive, the more likely you’ll be to make measurable steps toward achieving your goal(s). Some ideas for rewards could include a movie night with friends and family, an extra hour or two with your favorite hobby, or a visit to a favorite pastime. Be creative, but also make sure the reward is so appealing that you set yourself up for success!

5.    Remain optimistic

Last, but certainly not least, remain optimistic.  This is so important because there will be obstacles and scenarios that test your will and ambition.  You need to embrace them with positivity and optimism.  By doing so, you’ll be more likely to overcome the challenges while feeling better about yourself and your efforts.  Mindset and attitude have a tremendous effect on how we feel and can dictate the manner we approach and solve problems.

So this year keep it simple, be slightly selfish, share your ambition, make measureable resolutions, reward yourself, and stay optimistic when setting your New Year’s resolution(s). I personally like to also make them health and fitness related because it ALWAYS carries into other facets of my life and influences them in a positive way.  Now that you have the tools, go set those goals, embrace the challenges, and KNOW that at this bittersweet time of year you are setting yourself up for future SUCCESS!

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Zane was a skinny 120 lb. guy that dropped out of college, had severe hypoglycemia, and was on the fast track toward diabetes. It took some tough decisions, a lot of hard work, and support from my friends and family to turn my life around. Now, I want to help others do the same-- find their potential and achieve their goals!
Zane was a skinny 120 lb. guy that dropped out of college, had severe hypoglycemia, and was on the fast track toward diabetes. It took some tough decisions, a lot of hard work, and support from my friends and family to turn my life around. Now, I want to help others do the same– find their potential and achieve their goals!