I find New Year’s Resolutions to be a pain in the ass…I can remember being a kid, being slightly overweight, and starting every year with a list of new year’s resolutions… and then failing. The end result is that I lost belief in myself. I thought perhaps I can’t meet goals, or achieve what I want. To think that I’ll be a fat loser. Now, I have a modeling profile, and people always tell me how handsome I am. In middle school, I was embarrassed to take my shirt off in the locker room… now I’ll prance around in my underwear in front of strangers. So… here’s the deal:
1)Don’t set up a New Year’s resolution! You’re going to have more goals this year than just that one, so… just set up goals…
2)Focus on one goal at a time. You can make more friends, eat less junk food, go to the gym more often, lose 100 pounds, increase your salary, and learn a foreign language. But it takes 21 days to form a habit, and if you’re working on 4 things at once, you won’t get any of them completed. If you focus on just jogging daily…. you can do it every day for 21 days, and then you can add another goal to focus on; the daily jogging will not be as difficult to stick with now that you’ve formed it as a habit.
3)Set realistic goals. If you want to lose 100 pounds, know it won’t be instant. So, start with 10 pounds, and pace yourself. You can do it, but if you starve yourself, and are completely miserable, then you’ll dislike the process, and quit shortly
4)Reverse engineer your goals, and break it down into steps. If we’re talking about losing 100 pounds, you can probably lose 10 pounds a month without suffering. So, that would mean that you should break 100 pounds by 10 months. When you make your steps by the deadlines, you’ll have motivation to keep going!
5)Set deadlines: Goals are dreams with deadlines. If you don’t set up a deadline, you subconsciously can rationalize how to blow it off. If you have deadlines, you try to figure out how to beat them.
6)Reward yourself. If you make a goal by or near the deadline, treat yourself. If it’s a diet, then go eat something nice. Try to keep the reward relevant to what you’ve been doing. For example, if you lost 20 pounds, buy some new clothes! Show off your results. Other people will notice, and compliment you on it, which will help your inner image, and make further pursuit of the same goal much easier. In 1998, I flew to Trinidad to teach 3d animation. They fed me so much, that upon my return I could not fit into a certain pair of pants. I had gained about 10 pounds in 3 weeks. I was upset at myself, and signed up for a gym membership. I started doing cardio, and lifting weights, and in about 3 weeks, people started asking if I’ve been working out. Then it got to the point where some heads even started turning, and I started wearing tanktops…. I never wore tanktops before that.. I was too embarrassed to. The point is, because I stuck with it for just a little bit, I got some results. People noticed those results, and that helped me get even more results. It actually got to the point where I could bench press 255 pounds. When I started, I could barely lift the bar. If I hadn’t gained that extra weight in Trinidad, I wouldn’t have the physical build that I do these days.
7)Have accountability! Get a friend who’s got the same goals. This is like the sponsor thing for Alcoholic Anonymous. “Help! I’m thinking of eating a donut!” If you’re dieting with a friend, you know that someone else is watching your progress, you’re less likely to cheat or quit. You can set up challenges between you, or perhaps a bet. Make it big– for example; We both need to lose 30 pounds…. Let’s jog together 3 times a week, and let’s place $500 each in an escrow account (or something like it)… if one of us quits before beating the goal, they lose the money. If you have something big you may lose, you’re more likely to keep at it. Tell others your goal. This is another form of accountability. If others know, then you’re not as likely to quit… perhaps a fear of embarrassment.
8)Be informed. Do research on the best ways to make your goals. The internet and book stores are filled with so much information on everything! You can learn 3d animation, photoshop, culinary techniques, basket weaving, gardening, foreign languages, hypnotism, diet techniques, fitness techniques, photography, and quantum physics… all for free! The public library has a ton of material as well. To top that off, doing things online allows you to find other people with the same goals– i.e. other diet buffs, or people looking for more success. There’s a great website you should checkout: www.meetup.com for example. It lets you find other people in your area that like to do… whatever it is you like to do. Online forums let you discuss your results, post questions you may have, and have discussion of methods.
9)Study other techniques for goal-setting. There are many world famous individuals that specialize in achievment… people such as Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, T. Harv Ecker, and many more. The thing to watch out for, again, is to set up realistic goals. These guys have good points, and good techniques. However, some of them make you feel super powerful, and then when you don’t get quick results, you feel like a failure, and they’ve done more harm than good. So.. be realistic. There are many many books on how to achieve goals regarding anything… so be specific. How to improve your sales… versus How to improve your sales of Vacuum cleaners to 3 person families in the midwest. Another good trick is just to watch people who’ve succeeded before you.
10)Work on your inner image! If you work on your self image, then you’re much more likely to get the external result. If you’re fat, then you diet, but you still see yourself as fat, you’re very likely to bloat back up. If you’re fat, and see yourself as a thin person, the dieting and exercise will come much more easily, and will more likely stay off. If you’re trying to quit smoking, you need to see yourself as a non-smoker, not as a smoker who’s trying to quit. That is the basis for hypnotherapy. There are books and videos to help with the self image. For some people it might be “The Secret” for others it might be a more scientific approach such as “The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz & Dan Kennedy “. Having goals, and using tools such as visualization to see yourself achieving them is very powerful, and scientifically proven to be effective. They say that golf is 90% in the mind.
10)Take action now! The longer it takes for a thought to be converted to action, the less likely it is to succeed. You don’t want to get “Paralysis by analysis” Have daily goals… even if it’s just one thing.
11)Show off your results. People notice, and that’ll help you keep motivated.
12)Don’t be too hard on yourself! Other people making fun of you is nowhere near as bad as you making fun of you. If you’re talking about weight loss, keep in mind there are variables– for example, you may lose 10 pounds, then weigh yourself, and notice that you gained 3 pounds back…. it’s called water weight. It’s a variable, you can go up or down by up to 5 pounds in a day… although that number’s a little extreme. At the same time, don’t use that knowledge to make excuses. If you’re slacking… take corrective action.