Happy New Year!
You've switched the calendar, you've put away the Christmas decorations, and you've sipped some champagne while the ball dropped in Times Square.
The blank page of 2013 looks like it could be full of possibility and opportunity but are you setting yourself up for failure in 2013? Keep reading to find out why some people will fail this year, and how a small resolution like going to the gym can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars…
When the New Year rolls around, many people make resolutions – goals and changes that they want to achieve in the year. Our brains are wired to get excited about the possibilities that could take place and resolutions help us to focus in on some specific areas where we want change.
Weight loss? There's a resolution for that (in fact, it's one of the most popular each year).
Quit unhealthy habits (like smoking, drinking, watching too much TV, overeating, or overspending?) There's a resolution for that. That's another popular resolution.
Make more money? There's a resolution for that.
Creating resolutions to improve yourself is good. But there's a problem. And it's a problem that could hurt you this year and in years to come.
Why Resolutions Aren't Always A Good Thing
If you have been a regular member of a gym for more than a few months or years, you've probably heard of "the Januarys". It's a name given to people who show up on January 1st and sign up for a membership because they want to sweat off the holiday weight and make positive changes in their life.
They go faithfully in early January... the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th… all the way through the first week. But by the second week, the crowd starts to thin out. By the third week, it's still busy at the gym but at least a third or more of the new people are gone.
Fast forward to February: The gym is mostly back to normal. In one short month, "the Januarys" signed up with great intentions and attacked their resolutions...
... for a few days or weeks.
Then they quit.
It's not just a phenomenon you see at the gym. Most resolutions that are started in January 1st are dropped by January 31st (usually earlier).
People pick up their cigarettes again and decide to have "just one" (which turns into two and then three and then the whole pack)... even though a few days or weeks earlier they vowed never to smoke again.
Or they watch a "Two and a Half Men" marathon while eating Cheezits and drinking Dr. Pepper… even though a few days or weeks earlier they vowed to cut back on TV.
Or they take second helpings or third helpings or eat out at a buffet a couple times a week… even though a few days or weeks earlier they vowed to trim their food intake.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Chances are that most people reading this have set resolutions, stuck with them for a while then stopped.
So why do we quit?
Let's look at the gym scenario for a minute. Stick with me through this illustration because I want to connect this very familiar experience with why your business or investing goals might be setting you up for failure.
Why We Quit (And Why It Is "Expensive")
On January 1, someone wakes up inspired to workout because they know all of the great benefits they'll get from it. They go to the gym, plunk down their credit card, and sign up for the gold package and get upsold for extra fluffy towels. The first workout is hard but it feels great because they've just invested in themselves and a whole year of getting fit sounds awesome.
January 2nd. This is very similar to January 1 except that their muscles are a little sore. But it's just as exciting as January 1st because, hey, "no pain, no gain" they keep telling themselves.
But after January 2nd, things start to change. Workouts get harder to do. Then it gets harder to go to the gym. Then they remember to go to the gym but also remember that there's no milk in the fridge at home so they go to the grocery store instead. Then one of their kids has an emergency dentist appointment. When they finally get back to the gym on January 10th, they've forgotten about why they wanted to do it and they are overwhelmed with the work and the hardship involved. They try again on the 11th and 12th but life gets in the way.
By January 15th they are checking out the gym's refund policies and then decide that they'll keep their membership "just in case"... but they rarely (if ever) return.
Until next January.
It's a common scenario that extends beyond the gym.
In fact, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 25% of people quit their resolutions by the first week of January. And by February, that number rises: More than one-third of all resolution-setters have quit their resolutions. Over half will have quit by the end of June. And only a meager 8% actually achieve their goals by the end of the year!
And perhaps your experience in previous years with other resolutions might have been similar.
This happens to SO MANY people.
Maybe you've wanted to do real estate deals but haven't made them happen yet. Maybe you want to quit your job and start working virtually but haven't gone through with that resolution. Maybe you're sick of your the returns in your 401(k) and want to make them better but have no clue how to do it. (There are MANY resolutions but I'm just mentioning a few that I see pretty frequently with the people I mentor).
Resolutions fail because we might start out inspired by the possibilities, we quickly come face-to-face with the realities. And the realities for almost all resolutions are:
1. Succeeding at any goal is hard. And the higher the goal, the harder it seems.
2. Achieving goals requires consistency but developing consistency can be challenging or boring.
3. The further you are away from your goal, the longer the journey seems to be.
4. Life is crazy sometimes and other priorities demand our attention.
This "quadruple-threat" of problems conspires to create obstacles that keep us from achieving our goals.
And the cost? It's expensive… and it might surprise you at just how expensive it is.
- We invest time and money and effort to pursue the resolution but since we don't stick with it for very long, that time and money and effort are lost. (In the gym example above, the person paid for a gym membership, they also put in time at the gym and a lot of effort).
- We share our resolutions with other people but when we fail at those resolutions, we face the social shame of not having followed through.
- Similarly, we can end up feeling like failures because we are reminded that we couldn't stick with our goals. Every time we are reminded of it, it reinforces that negativity.
- It causes us in the future to second-guess ourselves, to expect less of ourselves, to expect failure, or not to set goals at all. In other words, a few failed resolutions ends up pushing us to underachieving!
It's crazy to think that a small gym membership – maybe a couple hundred bucks at most – can create so much negativity in the future. And that costs a lot, perhaps even tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in lost opportunities that you no longer want to pursue.
But there's some good news...
... and I'm going to share it with you in the next blog post because this post is already getting pretty long.
Stay tuned because I've got something really cool for you. It will blow you away (plus it's totally free) and it could make the difference between 2013 being a "same old year" for you or a totally transformed year in which you achieve the goals you want to achieve. It doesn't matter what resolution you want to hit, this tool will help. Plus, I'm even making it easier for you if one of your resolutions has been to invest in real estate. Check it out in the next couple of days!
Your friend and mentor,
Mark Evans DM,DN
PS, Post your 2013 resolutions in the comments sections below. List your resolutions in a comment as way to publicly "announce" your resolutions. You'll be more likely to stick with them through the year. And don't forget to check back shortly because part 2 of this series is coming right away! List your resolutions in the comment section below and get started on them today!
PS, Many people create a resolution to make more money, invest in real estate, or do something that gives them financial freedom. My latest bestseller Virtual Real Estate Investing Made Easy is the perfect book to help you do exactly that! Click here to get it and to start OWNING your future today.