Have you already abandoned your 2019 goals?
Updated: Feb 7, 2019
An internet meme was making the rounds on Facebook this week (shown below).
I thought the meme would still hold true if you duplicated the top picture, added it under the wrestling ring, and inserted the caption, “Gym in February.” Believe it or not, most people are already well on their way to giving up on their goals for the year.
January 12th is the day your motivation may falter.
Most people abandon personal exercise goals quite early. Research conducted by Strava, a personal training app and social network, discovered that January 12th was the first day that typically indicated decreased motivation.
Furthermore, US News and World Report reported that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are completely abandoned by the second week of February.
I believe we can find similarities between our personal exercise goals and the goals we design for our businesses.
Why we give up
1. We have a microwave society.
Humans love instant gratification. It now seems as if society as a whole no longer values anything else! Sometimes, the process of accomplishing a long-term goal will produce an immediate benefit; however, this is not always the case. Do not let your desire for immediate results discourage you from pursuing a longer-term goal.
2. We have no idea how to eat an elephant.
The best goals are big, hairy, audacious things (Jim Collins: Built to Last). BHAG goals unite teams and define clear finish lines. The problem is, most people have no idea where to start and paralyze themselves by contemplating the enormity of the entire push. (The trick is to eat one bite at a time.)
3. We know we will change our minds later.
Did you give up on a goal because it was no longer relevant? This is great news! You are being agile in your business and not adhering to outdated strategies that no longer make sense. It’s your company…you’re allowed to change direction! Simply make the best decision you can “now” based on the information you have in hand.
Maintain your motivation
The human brain works like magic! By, recognizing our need for instant gratification, our tendency of “paralysis by analysis,” and the better than average possibility that we may change our minds in the future, we can turn our weaknesses into strengths!
As we mentioned in our previous post, Why SMART Goals Fail, often-times businesses develop goals but fail to define a strategy or first steps to achieve the goals. We must break down our goals into smaller actionable steps. Sometimes, this list of actionable steps is referred to as a backlog.
We instinctively will choose to work on “easier” tasks first. This is not always a bad thing. Completing smaller items from your backlog will give you a boost of momentum; it will satisfy your urge to see immediate results; it will help you mentally perceive your task as achievable.
Do not be like the majority of individuals who “give up” before they ever really try. You CAN achieve great things! However, if you are serious about achieving your goal, you must put in the extra effort to develop a strategy and a plan to do so.