Break Your New Year’s Resolution? You’re Doing It Wrong

New Year’s resolutions don’t work and here’s why.  Just thinking to yourself that you are going to change your behavior isn’t going to make you suddenly change your behavior. That’s not how it works.

To change your behavior in order to reach a goal, you have to take action.  That might sound obvious, but too many times we get hung up on whether the action we take “counts”.

Every action counts, no matter how small.

The key to reaching any goal is to take micro-steps toward that goal. You must take CONSISTENT action as often as possible.

But what most people fail to do once they start taking action is to track their progress. And tracking your progress is the missing link to staying on track.

Tracking your progress doesn’t mean fancy charts or counting numbers on a scale to reach a weight loss goal. You need to be tracking your consistency by using a calendar to mark down whether you did or didn’t make progress towards your goal every single day.

Big goals take time, and you’re not likely to see much outward progress in the beginning.  That’s why paying attention to micro-steps and giving yourself credit for taking those small steps forward is an important part of the process.

When you don’t track your progress,  you’ll have a bad day or decide it’s too hard and quit. But when you track your progress daily, you track both the good and the bad.  You’ll note when you blew it, but you’ll also be reminded of how many times you succeded.

You don’t need to count the amount of time you spent taking action or how much effort you think you put into it. You only need to ask yourself, “Did I take one micro-step toward reaching my goal?”

If the answer is yes, give yourself a gold star, a checkmark, or whatever motivates you.

Maybe you’re starting a fitness goal and you can’t run farther than a block. That’s ok. You took action, so give yourself credit. Maybe you ate 2 healthy meals and one not-so-healthy meal.  Did you eat better than yesterday? Give yourself credit.

You can do this with a paper calendar or an app.  There are tons of tools that will do the job.

My personal favorite is an iPhone app called “Way of Life” which lets me set up multiple checkpoints. I have some goals that don’t require daily action, so I just mark down the days I took action and skip the days I don’t need to track.

It takes me 30 seconds at the end of the day to check through my items and I can see instantly if I’m on track or off track so I can make course corrections for the next day.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

What micro-steps should you be getting credit for right now? Go mark it down!

Start tracking your consistency and you’ll reach that goal a whole lot faster than you thought you would.


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