Don’t Stumble at the Starting Line

Have you made New Year’s resolutions or set goals before and failed?

Have you entered a new year beating your chest and proclaiming your magnificent transformation from every mountaintop only to have it dwindle to a whimper by the time January gets torn off the calendar?

What went wrong?

In my experience, there are about a half a dozen ways you can trip yourself up right at the start. Let me help you avoid these common trip-ups:

1. Too Many, Too Much

You try to tackle too many goals, change too many ingrained behaviors and attempt too much too quickly. Look, you have probably been building, developing and reinforcing a poor habit for 10, 20, 30, maybe even 40-plus years. Breaking one poor habit and trying to install a single new success habit is tough enough (and worth it). If you try to do too many, you won’t do any.

2. Too Tough, Too Soon

Remember Richard from The Compound Effect? He had never worked out in his life, but then started working out 2.5 hours a day, 5 days a week. I told him to back it down to 45 minutes, 3 days a week—something he could maintain for the next 50 years. He swore up and down he could maintain this and was committed to his new plan. By the time the book went to press, he had just started this program. Guess how long he works out, and how many days a week today? Zero and zero. He set himself up to fail and he did. Don’t be a Richard. (Suggestion: refer to “Ease In” section, page 80 of TCE)

3. Too Hardcore

Is there such thing as too much discipline? Yes and yes. Yes, if you want to have any levity, fun and joy in life. And yes, particularly in the beginning of a transformation. Too much discipline too quickly will send your emotional and psychic system into a state of shock, then meltdown. Willpower fails, eventually, every time. Can you hold your breath indefinitely? Neither can you hold your willpower indefinitely.

4. Too Rigid

Give yourself some room for error. You will be off course 80% of time. Life will happen. You will fall. Just don’t stay down. Get up and get back on. Over and over and over again.

5. Too Vague

Your goal and the changed behavior/actions necessary are not specific or quantified enough. Need help? See below.

6. No Measurement

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. A consistent monthly, weekly and daily measurement system is essential. Need help? See below.

Let’s start with this, and next week I will offer you half a dozen key strategies to staying on track and succeeding with your resolutions and goals.

LYBYE_Book and CDs_webExciting Update!

Living Your Best Year Ever program starts shipping TODAY! Have you ordered yours? Do you have a copy for each essential member of your team? I promise you it’s the best investment you can make in you and your team’s success for 2011. Order Here

What has been the cause of some of your failed resolutions and goals in the past? If you don’t want to repeat, it is good to know what tripped you up before. Share in the comments below.


Darren Hardy is the former publisher of SUCCESS magazine, an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author of The Compound Effect and Living Your Best Year Ever: A Proven Formula for Achieving Big Goals.

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