For the past seven years I have written entries on why New Year's resolutions fail and how to get better results. All of these articles have suggestions and helpful strategies you can use for achieving any type of behavioral-change goal you may have.
This year edition will focus on the role your self-image plays into the success (or failure) of your New Year's Goals (not resolutions).
On average, only 8% of people who make a New Year's Resolution succeed in a given year. Who do you think is more likely to achieve their goals in the coming New Year? Someone who was successful in their goal the previous year, or someone who was not? Some might say that there is not enough information given, as the former's goal may have been much easier than the latter's.
I would say it is indeed the former, because they now have evidence that they can succeed, thus boosting their self-image to that of a person who can achieve their goals. Meanwhile the latter now has evidence that they failed to reach their goal, thus causing harm to their self-image and promoting the belief that they are not good at setting and reaching their goals.
If you think you can or can't, you are probably right. I always tell my clients that you cannot outperform your belief in yourself. You always perform up or down to your belief in your abilities. This is why you often see people (or teams) dominate for a majority of a competition only to lose in the end. They never believed they could win in the first place, and thus prove themselves to be right in the end.
A good example of this was the most recent Super Bowl football game won by the New England Patriots. The Atlanta Falcons were blowing out the Patriots so badly that most people thought the game was already decided at the halftime break. There is a big difference between thinking and believing. I'm sure the Falcons "thought" they could win the game, but I am now equally sure they did not "believe" they would win the game.
Meanwhile the Patriots had played in numerous Super Bowl games in the past twelve years, winning several, including the one where they were about to lose but managed to intercept a pass in the end zone in the final seconds to preserve the win. The Patriots had a strong belief they were going to win because they had experience and evidence to support their belief.
Believing you can achieve your goal does not guarantee that you will, but it is a prerequisite for those who do. So, my advice to you this year is to set several small goals to bolster your self-image and belief in your ability to achieve your goals, instead of doing what most do and set big goals they never truly believe they can attain in the first place. If you have success with the small goals you will eventually have a self-image that is conducive to your achieving the bigger goals in your life.
Source by Sam Obitz