Flip the calendar, turn the page, wipe the slate clean, start fresh – dozens of expressions have been coined to celebrate the feeling of starting from square one. (Hey, that’s another.)
And now that we’re approaching the end of another year, it’s time to engage in the time-honored tradition of making New Year’s resolutions.
Did you know that nearly half of the American population makes a New Year’s resolution? You’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution at some point in your life. I make one every year.
But did you also know that only 8% of Americans actually achieve their New Year’s resolution? That’s a depressing number. I’ve been part of the 92% that’s failed to reach their goal.
Have you ever found yourself in the same boat?
Let’s imagine that boat. Without the engine, the boat will stagnate even with the best-laid course. Without the rudder, even the most powerful engine will fail to push the boat to its final destination.
The human heart is the engine of success. When you’re truly passionate about achieving a goal, that passion and determination can push you to work harder than others can imagine. The human mind is the rudder of success, steering your efforts through a well-thought out plan with defined steps and a clear end point.
The heart and the mind are both essential and inseparable. I always had one of them in excess, but I only succeeded when I had both.
Increase your chances of success with these strategies.
Write it down
Like a fire that burns hot only to flame out quickly, maintaining your passion can be tough. And coming up with a plan takes time. One of the best tips I can offer is to sit down at the start and write down your goal.
What do you want to achieve and how are you going to do it?
A study by Harvard found that the 3% of students who wrote down both their career goals and their plans to achieve them ended up earning 10 times as much as other students a decade later.
After writing it down, don’t just tuck it away. Put it on display! The constant reminder will keep your engine moving and your efforts pointed in the right direction.
Involve other people
I also find I’m more likely to succeed when I involve other people, and I’m not alone.
A study by the University of Indiana found that couples who went to the gym together were nearly 7 times less likely to drop out over the course of a year.
Having a support system helps you fight through the times when you just don’t feel like putting in the effort.
Make it manageable
It can also help to break your one overall goal into multiple smaller goals.
If your goal is to learn guitar well enough to play ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles, set goals to learn the chords first, then a great beginner song, and then a segment of ‘Hotel California’ before ultimately learning the whole thing.
It will feel great when you achieve the smaller goals and motivate you to keep going.
And don’t forget to track your progress. Looking back on how far you’ve come will help motivate you to keep moving.
Take the time to reward yourself at each milestone.
When you reach your end point you’ll be part of that 8% that set their mind to something and actually achieved it, and you couldn’t have succeeded without both your heart and mind invested in the process.
Part travel memoir, part self-help book, Live, Love, Explore is a guide to finding meaning and adventure in your everyday life and discovering the road you were always meant to walk.