Do you remember the resolutions you set back in January? Have you accomplished any of them?
If your answer is no, you’re not alone. Most people don’t accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. According to the University of Minnesota, 80% of people fall off after only 6 weeks. The ones who say they want to lose weight give up on their diets and gym regimens. The people who claim they’ll pay off their debts fall back into bad money habits. And people who say they’ll finally start the business they’re always talking about never end up launching anything.
What makes New Year’s resolutions so hard?
Finder recently did a survey of almost 2000 Americans and most of them blamed their failed resolutions on either laziness or lack of willpower. Both of those things boil down to a lack of discipline. Chances are that’s the reason you didn’t accomplish your goals for the year either.
But it’s not too late. There are 90 days left in the year, and you have the opportunity to make them count. Here are five steps you can take to accomplish your goals before the end of the year.
Step 1: Get clear on your goals
You can’t accomplish your goals if you’re not clear about what they are. Take time to think through your goals and write them down. Be specific. What exactly do you want to achieve? What does accomplishing that goal look like for you? You should also be clear about why these goals are important to you. The better you understand why your goals matter, the easier it will be to stay disciplined.
Step 2: Use the Deathbed Strategy
This is one of my favorite strategies for building discipline. It’s simple: if you were on your deathbed, what would you wish you had done more of? What would you regret wasting time and energy on? Answering these questions will help you sort out your priorities and decide how you’re going to use your time to get closer to your goals.
(I dive deeper into this in my book, Law of Ambition. If you haven’t read it yet, download Chapter 12—Plan Ass Backwards—for free and learn how to reverse engineer a plan for your goals.)
Step 3: Build Your Core Success Habits
Once you’re clear on your goals, you need to work on building the habits that will help you achieve them. If you want to get in shape, then you need to develop the habits of working out and eating healthy. If you want to save more money, then you need habits like making food at home instead of buying takeout. Whatever you want to achieve, you’re going to need to practice consistency, discipline, commitment, and daily action to accomplish your goals.
Step 4: Learn to compartmentalize
A lot of people get distracted or lazy about their goals because they let themselves get overwhelmed. Break your goals down into smaller parts and learn to focus exclusively on each task rather than worrying about the big goal. Make sure you don’t let yourself get distracted by the other things in your life either. When it’s time to work on your goals, give it your undivided attention.
Step 5: Fail fast and fail forward
While you’re working on accomplishing your goals, there are going to be times that you fail. It’s just that simple. So, make peace with that now, and learn to fail fast and fail forward. This means that when you mess up or fall off, you look for the lessons instead of beating yourself up or using it as an excuse to quit. Every failure is an opportunity to figure out how you can adjust your plan and bounce back stronger.
These five simple steps will work for any goal—big or small. If you take the time to get clear about what you want, understand what’s really important to you, build your success habits, become laser-focused, and learn from your failures, you can achieve any goal you set. It’s only too late to accomplish your goals if you quit on yourself. So, get out of your own way, stop wasting your time and making excuses, and make the next 90 days count.
If starting a business was on your list of New Year’s resolutions, then you’ve got 90 days left to make it happen, and I’m here to help. Register for my flagship program, Entrepreneur 101, and get instant access to tools and strategies to develop your entrepreneurial mindset and discipline; build and launch a profitable brand in just 30 days; and create a long-term strategy to grow and scale your business.