Happy New Year!—and 2022, we have high expectations of you. After two full years of living under the turbulent influence of the Covid-19 pandemic and its army of impacts, we sure could use some predictability.
Regardless of the state of the world, we’re here to offer you something you can control: your own personal growth.
Every new year, after the gluttony of holiday celebrations, eggnog binges, and one too many fudge squares, the timeworn adage “New year, new you” feels like a battle cry. We armor-up against brain fog, belly fat, and stiff joints by setting goals and resolutions that demand hordes of time and sheer willpower.
Well-intended? Absolutely. Successful? Not likely.
According to the data accumulated by the website “Discover Happy Habits,” the success rate of New Year’s resolutions plays out as follows:
After one week, 75% of people are still successful in keeping their resolution. After one month, that number dips to 64%. After 6 months, only 46%—less than half who started—are still sticking with it. By the end of the calendar year, only 9% of people feel they are still successful in keeping their initial resolution. That’s a crash-and-burn rate of 91% of resolution-makers!
This year, we want to share a simple yet 100% effective process to help you make and achieve each resolution. To simplify the explanation, we’ll use the goal you set when you eagerly signed up for that new gym membership two weeks ago (If you’re not the gym rat type, stick with me here. This hack works for anyone and any resolution. Promise.)
Let’s say you have a goal to hit the gym for an hour every weekday morning before work and twice on the weekends. That’s noble, and I applaud you. And look at you! You’re doing great—ten days in and you’re right on track.
However, what happens on day eleven when your 6am alarm blares, you hit the “off” button instead of “snooze”, and you wake up 45 minutes late? Now there’s no way you’ll get an hour at the gym and get to work on time. You’ve set yourself up, and you feel like you’ve failed. You skip the gym entirely and drag yourself off to the office with shame burning a hole in your gut.
Chances are, some iteration of this scenario has happened to every one of us.
Enter the model of Floors and Ceilings goal setting. In his book, “How to Be An Imperfectionist”, Stephen Guise shares this brilliant and incredibly simple concept.
For each goal or resolution, set a FLOOR—the tiniest, most “stupidly small” version of your goal. For example, in keeping with our exercise-focused example, the micro version of this goal could be to skip the gym and simply do 10 push ups at home.
You’ll also set a CEILING for each goal. This will be the highest, most ideal version of your goal. For example, for our exercise buff, this could be a full sixty minutes at the gym.
And what fills the space between a floor goal and a ceiling goal? Stairs! Literally any exercise you do that falls between the FLOOR (10 push ups) and CEILING (one hour at the gym) is a step on that staircase to success in meeting and maintaining your goals.
The mental mechanics here are simple: by achieving your goal every day (whether it be a floor, a ceiling, or any step in between), the brain interprets this as SUCCESS. Success creates dopamine in the brain, reinforcing the habit and creating new neural pathways that ensure future SUCCESS!
Bonus hack: Track your efforts.
The Seinfeld Effect. The legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld offers some sage advice. He postulated that the driving force for improvement at anything is to do it every day. On completing the desired task, he simply put an “X” on his planner for that day. As time progressed, he developed a “chain” of evidence that he was improving at that particular skill. The equation looked like this: X = success. The key is to never break the chain. The Seinfeld Effect is simply “maintaining the chain to the brain.”
It’s almost too easy. Print a calendar or use a tracking app and mark with an “X” every day that you meet your goal.
Just Add Essence
And finally, the ultimate way to up-level each resolution you set this new year is to simply add an Essence Nose Ring. Available in a variety of scents and blends, it complements any activity and adventure. It is also compact, versatile, and long-lasting. Essence Rings will enhance your new years’ journey toward the “new you”!
“How to Be an Imperfectionist” – Stephen Guise