Writing about goal-setting and resolutions around the end of the year seems cliché, doesn’t it? But there’s no denying that this is the time of year when people think about that resolution they set a year ago and didn’t quite achieve. It’s the time of year when we think about how we plan to do better next year. I see it as an opportunity to reach out and help others who feel stuck, frustrated, and like giving up.
It’s a personal topic for me. I spent many years wishing my life was a certain way. And just as many years failing my resolutions to make it that way. Then one day I decided enough was enough.
I know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and stuck. I also know what it’s like to emerge on other side feeling at home in my skin while creating a life I truly love. That’s why I do this. Nothing makes me happier than seeing other people take charge and do the same.
Over the past seven years, I’ve learned that anyone can succeed at their goals and resolutions if they have these four cornerstones place. The great news about these four things is that you can start exactly where you are right now, and they’ll grow with you as you move closer to achieving your goal. Curious what they are?
The four cornerstones of behavior change
1 – Knowledge
We need a bit of basic knowledge to get started on our goals. If we’re trying to lose weight, we need to understand how calories work. If we’re trying to pay down debt, we should be able to do a basic budget.
The great news is that with modern technology, most of what we need can be carried in the palm of your hand. There are wonderful free apps such as Lose It! and MyFitnessPal that will do most of the calorie tracking for you. The same is true for budgeting, EveryDollar and Mint are great free apps that will keep you on track to meet your financial goals in the New Year.
Technology also provides a plethora of amazing learning opportunities. Whatever your focus is next year, you’re sure to find blogs, podcasts, books, and courses that will keep you motivated while making you an expert on the topic. If you need recommendations, drop a note in the comments and let me know what you’re looking for.
2 – Behavior
These are the daily habits and choices that ultimately determine whether we fail or succeed at our goals. Here’s the thing about our habits – they behave just like interest. The choices we make today determine where we’ll be ten, twenty, eighty years from now.The choices we make today determine where we'll be ten, twenty, eighty years from now. Click To Tweet
You know what that means? The baby steps we take today will compound into small wins. And all of those small wins will compound to become big wins. It’s pretty motivating if you think of it that way, isn’t it?
For example, bringing your lunch to work is a tiny thing today, but over the next month, you could save close to $200 and lose a couple of pounds. Over the next year, that would be more than $2,000 and 24 pounds. You could sock that money away in a nice mutual fund and, ten years, packing your own lunch could be worth more than $30,000.
3 – Environment
With both knowledge and behavior, we have a lot of control over our choices. Environment is a bit different. There are parts of our environment that we have a lot of control over, like the foods we choose to bring into our home. But there are other parts of our environment that we don’t have as much say over, at least not immediately.
The environment that we live and work in can have a big impact on how well we achieve and maintain our goals. For example, I live in Minneapolis, which tops the list of healthiest cities in America. Within a block from our home, we have access to running, hiking, and bike trails, an ice skating rink, playgrounds, and community gardens.
As I traveled throughout the state on my #hollygoeswild adventure, I saw firsthand that many communities don’t have access to these resources. If this is important to you, stand up and let your voice be heard. Learn more about what one city did in the TED Talk below.
The same goes for work. I’ve been fortunate to never have worked in an office. But I’ve consulted with them, so I’m well aware of the temptations that show up throughout the year with birthdays, potlucks, and doughnuts. While I never had to work in an office, both my husband and I have had periods where we’ve traveled a lot. We both learned the hard way that three meals a day in restaurants is worse than potlucks and doughnuts.
So what can you do? If you’re in an office, why not coordinate healthy potlucks where everyone brings their favorite healthy dish and recipe to share. Or rather than going out to lunch, organize a lunchtime walking club. If you travel for work, demand that all lodging includes a fitness center. Then consider picking up meals from a grocery store and never be afraid to ask for exactly what you want when eating in restaurants
4 – Tribe
If you’re like me, I’m sure you’re familiar with the first two, maybe even the third. But people don’t talk much about this last one.
Your tribe is your people. The people in your tribe might include your spouse, family, friends, coworkers, and anyone who is close enough to have influence over your life. Your tribe can make you or break you.
One of the reasons it’s not discussed is that we often don’t realize how powerful this is until we’ve experienced both extremes. When we grow up one way or the other, that’s our normal.
Unfortunately, much of my life was filled with a lot of negativity. Once I began distancing myself from that, my life began to improve significantly. Eventually, the negative people were replaced by amazing, positive, supportive, and honest people. That’s when I things really started to improve.
Who are your people? Do they lift you up or drag you down? Do they encourage you to give it another shot? Or do they stand on the sidelines and wait for you to fall so they can shame you and say “I told you so?”
To be successful, we need at least one person who will support us and hold us accountable. We need at least one person who will talk us off the ledge and pick us up when we fall. Those people are out there and you deserve to have them in your life.To be successful, we need at least one person who will support us and hold us accountable. We need at least one person who will talk us off the ledge and pick us up when we fall. Click To Tweet
Would you like more support and accountability? I just launched a new ebook called Resolution Reboot. It’s a thirty-day plan to guide you through the process of rediscovering your dreams, creating attainable goals, and building an environment that encourages you to succeed.
Part of my initial offer is a free five-week Bootcamp where you’ll have access to me and other Bootcamp recruits to get you started on the right foot. I’ve actually met a lot of wonderful people in online groups and I hope Resolution Reboot Bootcamp offers the same to you.
What tips do you have for achieving your goals and resolutions?
Share in the comments below.