Only 8% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. For the next four weeks we’re going learn how to be one of those 8%.
"Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19
I’m going to ... You’re all excited about getting into shape, losing weight, saving money or whatever goal you set for yourself in the new year. You tell your family and friends how your life is going to change. All that public commitment and accountability will help you nail your goals this year. Right?
Wrong! When you announce a goal, your mind triggers the same chemical and emotional signals as if you’ve accomplished your goal. In your imagination, you’re already slimmer and richer, though nothing has changed. Unfortunately, that tends to satisfy the “hungry and motivated” part of you—the part required to push through to the end. (Read the study.)
Part of the problem is how you think and the other part is in the way others perceive you after you announce a commitment. When those around you notice and comment on your planned changes, you get a premature feeling of completeness and success. This usually comes way too soon in your process, before actual change has taken root.
Basically, announcing your intentions is like getting paid before you work—not the best motivator for most people.
So. Keep it to yourself and do it! Get down to the business of change, which requires day-to-day discipline. Keep your goals to yourself. Treasure them in your heart and remind yourself of them daily for motivation or encouragement. You’re going to need that motivation to stay strong all the way to the finish line.