If you are like most individuals, the end of 2021 and the start of a New Year often results in intentional or unintentional periods of reflection. Maybe you’ve thought of making a resolution or goal for 2022 that is meant to address a pitfall or area that is lacking in your personal or professional life. If you’ve engaged in some form of resolution-thought for 2022 you’re not alone. In fact, yearly estimates indicate that 150-188 million American adults make resolutions at the start of each New Year.
However, how many are successful, accomplishing their resolution or achieving their goal?
While studies and surveys vary, a central theme is that very few adhere to their resolutions, with less than 25% committed beyond January and fewer than 8% accomplishing their intended goal by year’s end.
Ultimately, from Friday (12/31/21) to Saturday (1/1/22) not much has changed. The date on a calendar is unable to control your behavior, mindset, or habits. Only YOU can do that!
As our society embarks on the beginning of 2022, we all are provided an opportunity to either begin or continue a process of introspection and analysis. Before you sign up for a gym membership, register for another race, buy another pair of running shoes you likely ‘want’ more than you ‘need,’ consider unachievable resolutions (e.g. “I will achieve >8 hrs. of sleep every night”), or even swear off the post-workout burgers and beer… ask yourself 3 questions:
1) What goals do I have for 2022? Write down as many as you can think of – seriously, grab a piece of paper (or two or three), a pen and start writing. Maybe you’re excelling in some areas but find yourself struggling in others. Write down as many goals and thoughts as possible. Now…prioritize your top 3. Be incredibly discerning. For 2022 focus on only these 3 goals!
You don’t need more goals – you need less. Be relentless in pursuing your goals. Do less but do it incredibly well.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is but having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.” – S. Covey
2) Who can I partner with to achieve my goals? If you want to go far, laying the groundwork for consistency and longevity is crucial. Partner with those who share your mindset and will help to foster your success. This involves conversations that are honest and open… but it is crucial that you first understand what your prioritized goals are.
One quick note – while family and friends may be able to partner with you consider the return on investment and their likelihood of communicating honestly and openly with you throughout the year.
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who ash you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” – T. Landry
3) Finally, why am I doing this and what’s my purpose? Think of this as your personal mission statement… your core value(s). If you don’t stop to consider your internal motivation, you’re likely to compromise your conviction and confidence within the process.
“When self-esteem is hinged on performance outcomes, people struggle to maintain a façade. They pressure themselves to appear a certain way to others so they will feel good about themselves. This, of course, detracts from interest and enthusiasm. Indeed, it bolsters a false self while continuing to undermine development of true self.” – E. Deci, 1996
Making the time to outline and honestly answer these questions begins to align your priorities in a way that enhances balance and increases your probability of success through small, intentional changes.
Undoubtedly this process will take time to accomplish, and you will be required to sacrifice your ‘wants’ to achieve your ‘needs’. It will require you to show up, to struggle, to fail, and to try again. And in the process, you may just learn that ‘success’ often requires you to go the other way round.
The greatest threat to your potential success in 2022 is not potential failure, but rather the resulting paralysis that limits your ability to learn and grow.
When 11:59pm on 12/31/21 becomes 12:00am on 1/1/22 very little will have changed. Behavior, mindset, and habit change takes time. If it could be done quickly undoubtedly more people would do it with success. In contrast, the expanse of time from 12/31/21 to 12/31/22 provides ample opportunity.
What will you do with your time?
Joel Sattgast is a physical therapist, performance coach, assistant professor of physical therapy, a Dad, husband, and an athlete. All posts are related to evidence, opinions and thoughts regarding various performance and rehabilitation topics.