How to Make this year the Best Year of Your Life!
In a few more days, people in the United States will gather around a table with family and friends or take some time alone to set resolutions, or goals, for the New Year! Growing up, my family would sit around the dinner table and, one-by-one, we would all talk about the things we wanted to accomplish in the upcoming year.
Since then I’ve dedicated thousands of hours of study in the areas of success and mindset; and goal setting is the middle plank on the bridge between those two areas, or close to it. What I’ve discovered is that “New Year’s Resolution’s” seem to be emotionless tradition that people participate in because it’s something they feel obligated to do; and this is exactly why I believe New Years resolutions dont work! I’ll explain.
Do NOT set New Year’s Resolutions just to have one!
People who set New Year’s Resolutions out of tradition are setting themselves up for failure. Statistics show that only 8% of people who set a resolution actually achieve it, and 25% of people don’t even follow through on their resolution through week number one! (See stats here.).
Now I know I’m a little bit of a geek, but those statistics are fascinating, aren’t they?
In my perspective, the reason why so many people fail at the execution of their New Year’s Resolutions is because they don’t have an emotional attachment to the outcome they say they desire. When you don’t have an emotional attachment, or, what people in the industry of personal development call your “why”, when it comes time to put the rubber to the road and grind through the tough times, you will give up because your level of desire is low.
The key to getting what you want in life.
We’ve all heard of the story where a woman’s baby is trapped under a car and the women finds super-human strength to lift a car. Now if you walk out to your garage or work parking lot and try to lift your car you will most likely be unsuccessful because you don’t have a big enough desire to summon ALL of your power to move the car. (Don’t actually try, please.) This is a perfect example of the importance of desire and how it’s the differentiating factor in getting the results you want in your life.
Whether it’s moving a car to save your child’s life or setting a financial goal for your self or your business, an intense desire and emotional attachment has to prominently exist to keep you motivated through all the trials and challenges you will face on the journey to your desired outcome.
One of the reasons why most people never achieve success or get what they want in their life is simply because they just “Kinda” want it–they don’t really want it!
This is the same exact reason why people fail at their New Year’s Resolutions; they set goals for themselves that they have no emotional ties to. They set goals that logically make sense but don’t kindle a burning desire to take action.
Once people who set emotionless goals hit their first obstacle, they tend to choose the path of least resistance which is usually to fall back into their old habits and routines. The only thing that will allow you to blast through barriers and obstacles is a burning desire and a laser focus on what you want.
BURN THE SHIPS!
Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez is famous for his strategic to “Burn the Ships! If we are going home we are going home on their ships!”. That statement signified to his army of men that the only way to survive is to win the battle, there was no turning back if they were met with more resistance than expected. Victory was the only option of return. Imagine how much more desire and determination every one of the men fought with once the ships were burned. Fighting hard to win, knowing your ships are in the bay, and fighting hard to win, knowing winning is the only option are not the same.
People who set successful goals, burn their ships. They leave no other options for detours. The path to their goals is the path of least resistance because it’s the only path.
When you get that serious about what you want in your life is when you will get what you want in your life.
Are you ready for something different?
Metiphorically speaking, what are the ships in your life? Meaning, what are the things that are holding you back from accomplishing your dreams?
Write down the things that are holding you back on a full piece of paper–every single thing you can think of, every reason why you didn’t achieve as much as you wanted this past year.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you mess this up and burn your house down or burn yourself. Please use common sense and your best judgement.
Now that we got that legal stuff, that my lawyer made me put in, out of the way, I want to do something really cool with you; BUT, only if you are serious about making massive change this upcoming year. If you are serious you will take the time to do a little exercise that I created. If you aren’t serious then you are obviously one of the people that just “kinda” want it, and you can move along to someone else’s blog. 🙂
I don’t mean to sound like an A-hole but I honestly only enjoy working with people who are committed to creating change, like you.
The Burn My Boats Exercise™
Now, if you are serious I need you to go on a mission to complete the following tasks. Find a bucket, fill it with water, grab a match or a lighter and fold your list of obstacles into a boat.
Once your boat is ready, have your fire source handy and place your boat in the bucket of water (Optional: Yell “Burn The Ships!”) and carefully set your boat on fire.
Witness all of your reasons or, if we can call a spade a spade, witness all of your excuses ignite in flames and burn until they are no longer recognizable.
If you’d like you can also take a picture of your boat on fire to hang above your desk or work space to remind yourself that your ships are burned, there’s no alternate routes and there’s definitely no turning back. The only ways around your obstacles are over and through and that’s what it takes to be successful at what you do.
Wrapping it up for you…
In order to make this upcoming year the best year of your life, you MUST be more focused and have more desire to go after the things you really want in your life. It sounds strange but often times, the things you think you want actually aren’t the things you really want.
One of the ways to generate more urgency, desire, and focus in this year and beyond is to “Burn the ships!” Remove all other options, remove yourself from unhealthy environments, and get committed to your success.
Stay focused on the future, be mindful of the present, and let the past be your best teacher, not something that holds you back.
Until next time, be happy, think positively, and do something that challenges you every day.
Michael R. Hunter
Speaker & Consultant