Did you know that, by February, the failure rate of people that set New Year’s resolutions is 80%? That’s right, only 1 in 5 people manage to stick to their resolutions within the first month!
This is no state secret. In fact, it’s been used against us for some time. The cigarette industry, for example, used to spend approximately 75% of its advertising budget every February. Why? You got it…to target those people who are already wavering with their resolutions to quit smoking, encouraging them to fail and making sure they continue to spend their hard-earned cash on cigarettes for the rest of the year.
In today’s blog we will take a look at:
- Why the failure rate of resolutions is so high.
- 4 hacks to change all that.
- How we helped a young couple change their lives financially, and how you can apply the same strategy to change yours.
- How a young businessman managed to take his business from $37,000 in debt, to having his best year yet, and you can to.
Why do 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail?
The problem isn’t the resolutions. It’s more likely the unrealistic time frames we give them.
If you resolve to lose 5 kgs it’s pretty achievable. If you resolve to lose 5 kgs in the next 30 days, then your mind will immediately get busy looking for the hack. What’s the latest trend, and how can I lose as much weight as possible as soon as possible?
We actually stop focusing on the outcome or the strategy, and we become obsessed with the speed. You observe any conversation anyone is having about their remarkable weight loss journey, and I can guarantee you once they have announced their amazing accomplishment, the 1st question that most people will ask is “how long did that take you?”.
We need to focus on the strategy, as that’s the key. The time frame will take care of itself. No one ever said, “ok so you lost 5kgs, but it took you 5 weeks instead of the 4 you set as your goal. You failed!”
Tony Robbins has a quote that I totally get.
If your resolution is to run a marathon, and you haven’t put the running shoes on for some time, and come the 2nd of Jan, you jump out of bed, put the shoes on, and hit the road on your 42km run, you are certainly setting yourself up to join the 80% who fail.
The key takeaway here then is to find a strategy that really works, and be prepared to move on the time frame, if need be, but not the strategy. Make sure it’s a process that you can stick with and stick with it. The biggest reason we fail any goal is our commitment. The following hack will help us overcome this.
The Y factor
Your Y is everything. Why are you wanting this?
EQ – emotional intelligence, why we do what we do. There are 2 driving forces behind everything we do.
- The need to avoid Pain
- The desire to seek Pleasure
Our brains are wired to be driven approximately 80% by pain and 20% pleasure.
Think about the cave man ancestors working a lot harder to escape the sabre -toothed tiger than they did to pick fruit that taste yummo.
This is also known as the pleasure principle – the instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoidance of pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs.
The secret is to use this pain/pleasure relationship to work for us and achieve our goals.
I’m pretty sure we are all familiar with this chap. I’m also certain he respects the power of resolutions or goals and doesn’t have a day in his life where he’s not working on them.
We will forgive you if you’re less familiar with Ray Dalio. In the 80’s he was so broke he had to borrow money to feed his own family. Today he’s a billionaire and his company manage the largest hedge fund in the world. Ray has an equation that I love.
Here’s a quick video where he explains it.
Now it’s time for you to come up with your personal pain/pleasure Y. Take your time, and put plenty of detail into it. It needs to be a vision that’s more powerful than any, and every excuse that’s going to come between you and your goal. The make or break of you achieving your goal, the key to your success is right here. Get this part right, and the rest becomes easy. If you don’t spend the time, and effort to get this right, and I can assure you, you’re making up numbers in the 80%.
Now we have the key ingredient, lets bake the cake.
- The Compelling Vision
Your likelihood of success is 1.4 x higher by just committing your goals to paper.
To make sure your goals are clear and achievable, apply a SMARTER goal strategy, each one should be:
- Specific (and simple)
- Measurable (and motivating)
- Achievable (and agreed)
- Relevant (and realistic)
- Time bound (and timely)
- Evaluated (and examined)
- Reviewed (and re-adjusted)
For example, you want to pay off your credit card debt? That’s a general goal, let’s get SMARTER:
I want to pay off the $4,000 balance on my COMMBANK Platinum Awards credit card, by 1 July 2022, so I can free up money to start saving for a house deposit. I will budget $300 a month towards this goal.
I will use a spreadsheet to track my progress every month.
I have already identified savings from my budget for $300 a month that I can divert to paying off this debt, including cutting back on eating out with my partner, who is supportive.
This medium-term goal of paying off this credit card debt will free up money to save for a longer-term goal of purchasing a first home.
I have crunched the number using an online calculator and know that if I remain committed to paying $300 a month this will cover with the balance and any related interest by the deadline of the 1 July 2022.
I will evaluate my progress along the way, ensuring I remain committed to the goal and that it remains realistic in case anything unexpected comes up.
If something unexpected happens, such a pay increase (good) or I lose my job (bad), I am prepared to review my progress and if necessary, re-adjust the timeline.
- The Y!
There are most certainly going to be times you are going to want to quit, and this is where you need to have your Y on hand, and readily attainable to drive you forward towards your goal, when your mind is telling you to quit. Master your mind with your Y.
We have recently helped out a couple who came to us with $37,000 in debt. The woman had a love of shoes. So, we went through this exact process, and we created a Y that was so strong that the choices she made in life were no longer shoes, but the future of her children’s financial wellbeing. She took the memory of the pain and humiliation she had of personally having to deal with the Sheriff attending the house to repossess goods. She reflects on that memory, and she no longer buys shoes. Instead, she uses her Y and the rest of the 4 steps in the blog to be on track to have her mortgage paid off in 9 years. At that point there she will be over $380,000 better off.
Your Y will Win it for you.
- Your MAP (Massive Action Plan)
In order to learn how to achieve goals, you must create a roadmap for every objective. Think of yourself as your own coach. You’re your own cheerleader and master strategist. For every objective you’re pursuing, create a Massive Action Plan that not only details your results and a sequence of activities, but also connects your purpose to the goal. When you align your Y with achieving your goals, you’ll activate your brain’s ability to focus on what means the most to you.
Steve (name has been changed for privacy purposes) has his own business in Perth as a floor sander. He’s brilliant at what he does, and has work coming out his ears. In fact, if you want a great floor sander get in touch.
In October 2020, Steve was doing a job for someone who Fix Bad Credit had previously helped obtain finance after their initial home loan application was declined, due to issues with their credit report.
Steve mentioned how he really wanted to buy a house, but unfortunately had to sort out some debt and credit report issues of his own. In fact, Steve’s credit report was in such a bad state he could not even get a mobile phone contract. After our client gave Steve our number, Steve gave us a call. We created a MAP with Steve.
On the 11th of December we enjoyed making the phone call to Steve to let him know that we had negotiated with his creditors for his $35,370 debt to be settled for a $4,500 payment and removed the defaults from his credit report. Steve is now getting his finance in place for his 1st home.
Merry Christmas Steve.
- Accountability – be the hero of your own movie
If you don’t take total accountability for your life, you’ll never master achieving your goals. Accountability means understanding that you are the only person in control of your life. It means taking responsibility for the decisions that got you where you are today – and learning from them. Without accountability, you’ll always blame your circumstances on forces beyond your control. If you have trouble holding yourself accountable, you’re not alone. Here’s 2 hacks.
- I love Joe Rogan’s Be the hero of your own movie.
Pretend there’s a camera crew following you, the documentary is on you and how you achieved your goal.
- The easiest, and most effective, way to stay accountable is to have a financial accountability partner. A study by the Dominican University of California, as reported by Rebecca Temson, investigated the success rate of five different strategies related to goal setting by dividing participants into five groups.
- The first group had to think about their goals, and rate them according to various factors but not write them down. This group achieved a 43 percent overall success rate or progressed at least part of the way to attaining their goals.
- The second group did the same, but this group wrote the goals down.
- The third group did the same as the second but also wrote their action commitments down.
- The fourth group did all of that, and also shared their action commitments with a friend.
The final group did everything the others did, but also sent their friends updates. This group had the highest success rate, at 76 percent.