Just about this time every year, we start to lose steam for chasing those gigantic dreams and goals we set for ourselves near the end of the previous year. Anyone with me on this? December ends, we set our sights on a new year, new goals, new dreams of living next year bigger and better. By February, we’ve reverted into what we once were, possibly slightly better off than the previous year if we’ve learned from the hard lessons life sent us.
According to statisticbrain.com only 9.2% of people polled felt successful with their resolutions, and 42.4% never succeed with their goals. We know the stats are horrible, but how do we keep from being sucked into the average? What can possibly help us shift to a higher standard than the rest of the world? To be successful, to alter your mindset from average to exceptional, everything starts with your brain.
Let’s list 7 simplistic, neuro – derived strategies you can implement this year to keep from falling into the pit of shame regarding goal-setting and achieving!
Establish a morning routine – Drink water (preferably about 20 fluid ounces) ASAP for brain boost! Trust me on this one. Coming from a hard-core coffee drinker, starting with water (I drink mine slightly warm with lemon and a dash of cayenne) is a game changer. Rule of thumb for water is half of your body weight in ounces daily. Yoga and/or exercise (even 15 minutes will do to boost your brain blood flow!) then meditate 10 minutes to clear your mind. Review your goals! Hang on a mirror, put a copy on the fridge, but look at them every day to start your brain focused on your goals.
Baby steps – Regardless of where you are each morning, take one small step towards a goal. Often average people get in the mindset that if you can’t take a huge leap to success, do not go at all. Because success and mindset is a daily battle, consistency with small things lead to big things. You can’t change your world overnight but you have to start somewhere.
Change your social group – Network to make new connections, surround yourself with other successful, motivated people. In any success group, you are the sum of the 5 people you hang around the most. It’s legitimate, and I am proof. I didn’t bail on my old friends, and I still hang around them for coffee occasionally. However, once you network with people who are on the level you want to be, you make an entire new group of cohorts that become your motivation.
Upgrade your self talk – “I will succeed.” “I am making progress.” “I am taking steps toward success.” You must speak statements out loud for your brain to recognize your voice and process it as truth! The words you speak silently and out loud processes as confirmations in your neural pathways and subconscious. You’re not trying to “fool” yourself into success, but you do have to believe it is possible for you. Speak it.
Eat right and sleep well – To be successful, you must supply your brain with proper fuel which means good food and good sleep. Garbage in, garbage out. If you eat high amounts of sugar, simple carbs, and junk before you work you’re focus is more likely to be scattered. If you eat balanced amounts of protein, smart carbs, and hydrate properly, you’re more likely to be on point. Sleep is key to refreshing your brain, and allowing cells to clean themselves of waste. After a night of burning the midnight oil, you feel like trash. Consistent, quality sleep (even if you don’t sleep 8 hours!) is necessary for brain function.
Speak your plans to accountable friends – You must verbalize to yourself and to one or two close friends to keep you accountable to your goals. Having that successful group of friends helps this tip tremendously! Instead of friends trying to pull you out to the club, you’ll have friends that push you to meet that deadline then take a break to relax after. Accountability partners have pushed me forward after a 5 minute chat more than hanging with unmotivated friends or family all day long.
Do not quit – Seems obvious, right? Most people see January as a wash when they slip-up once, and they give up the rest of the year. Learn your lessons from January, evaluate what worked, get rid of what didn’t, and keep going. Reach out to find mentors if you can’t surround yourself with motivated friends. Forget the messes that happened yesterday, and take that next baby step.
Whatever you do, do not stop.
Even though these suggestions may seem obvious, most people don’t do them. Statistics prove that, and statistics aren’t necessary to prove our success rate, honestly. We see it in the empty gyms after January, we see it in our friends eyes when they speak of giving up, and we see it in ourselves when we check our goals at the end of the year. The only way to achieve more is to think differently than the average, and carry out your plan differently than last year. By this time next year, your success mindset will be in place, and the only statistic you will focus on is becoming a part of America’s elite 1%.