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Do you struggle with achieving your New Year’s resolutions?
Maybe you have problems taking action, or following through on a new goal in life.
Whatever the case may be, you aren’t alone. Studies have shown that out of 60 percent of people that make New Year’s resolutions, only a small 8 percent of us are successful in achieving them.
Setting a goal, only to give up halfway, is an unhealthy cycle many of us feel trapped in. So how do you break free?
This article will delve into this topic in more depth, and uncover the one quality you need to succeed in any area of life.
The “new year, new me” cycle
Does this sound familiar to you?
You start the year off with a new year’s resolution. Maybe it’s to lose weight. Maybe it’s to sleep on time. Or maybe it’s starting an online business.
Whatever the goal is, you’re super motivated to achieve it. You’ve created a weekly schedule to ensure you’re on track with your goals. And even spoken to a friend or two about the goals you want to achieve.
But time passes, and before you know it, you’re back to old habits.
Tiredness hits, so you decide to skip a day of gym.
Building a store gets too confusing, so you take a “break” from your side hustle.
Sleeping early is too big of a task, so you binge-watch on Netflix until the early morning hours.
This point is where most people give up. And it’s often a point of no return. They fire towards their goal like a rocket, only to lose fuel midway, and fall back into their old lifestyle.
And this stop-start cycle gets worse as the years progress.
Next year you set the same goals, but with less belief you’ll achieve them. Writing goals down now seems like a chore. You might even avoid doing it completely and think “What’s the point? I’ll probably fail anyway.”
Somehow, a goal that once excited you now feels a million miles away. How did we get here?
It’s nothing to do with luck, or being smart or experienced enough. Neither does it have anything to do with your goals being too out of reach.
More often than not, it’s because you lack one important ingredient for success…
The power of grit!
Grit is one of the biggest determinants of success.
It is to have courage and discipline despite difficulty. And an unwavering focus towards your end goal.
You see, along the path to success, there will be days where you just don’t want to do anything.
Without putting up a fight, many people allow these bad days to completely rob their chances of success.
On the other hand, successful people use their grit to push past the hard days. They have the mental toughness to move forward, despite how hard it might be in the moment.
They understand that they might fall off the rail, but they’re always moving forward — no matter how slow.
Studies have shown that it’s not competitors with the highest IQ that win the US national spelling bee. It’s competitors who have the most grit and determination to consistently study and practise.
Achieving goals isn’t a matter of how lucky you are, or whether you have it or you don’t. It’s simply a matter of whether you decide to stay down, or get back up!
A lesson from Steve Jobs
Over his life, Steve Jobs built a $10B dollar personal net worth, and revolutionised technology with Apple.
But it wasn’t always this way. In 1980, Steve launched the Apple 3 – a computer said to revolutionise the business computer market.
But this quickly became a pipe dream when several flaws were recognised in the computer. And as a result, the Apple 3 lost Steve “infinite, incalculable amounts of money.”
And this failure led to probably the biggest loss of all: Steve being removed from his own company.
For most people, such a failure would stop them cold in their tracks. But not Steve Jobs.
He didn’t allow one failure to knock him off his path to success. He got back up, moved forward, and the rest is history!
And that’s exactly what grit is. It means despite failure or drawbacks, you are able to get back up and try again. Because you have faith that if you get up again, and give it another go, you will learn a little bit more, and so on.
Grit isn’t when you hope you will succeed because of luck. It’s when you have hope, faith and belief that success is because you got up again and again!
And it is this faith, this belief, that’s been shown to be one of the biggest keys for success.
“Sometimes, life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” — Steve Jobs
How to develop more grit
So, how can you achieve more grit? The answer is to set and achieve small goals.
The road to victory isn’t a straight pathway. It’s lined with small wins along the way. So it’s critical you set small, attainable goals along the path the big goal in mind.
Instead of saying “I will wake up two hours earlier every morning to work on my side hustle,” say “I’m going to set my alarm thirty minutes earlier than usual until I get consistent at waking up at this time.”
Because it’s a smaller change, it’s much easier to achieve. And with each little achievement gained, we develop more hope that we will achieve the next goal.
This is also important as science has proven that each time we set a goal, our brains become emotionally invested in that goal, as though we had already achieved it.
But there’s also a flip-side. Because this also means that if we don’t achieve that goal, it creates an emotional trigger inside of our brain that makes us feel as if we’ve lost a valued possession.
With this in mind, ensure your goals are attainable, and you consistently experience feelings of self-achievement.
“Transformation in real life is extraordinarily incremental” –Jillian Michaels
The bottom line
So, this year, if you want to be successful, don’t rush to the finish line. Start with small goals that you can easily achieve. Because as you achieve, and build on them, your hope will grow.
Because as you achieve your goals, one by one, you will see and prove to yourself that success isn’t made by luck — but through yourself.