230 - Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail And What To Do About It - John Laurito

230 – Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail And What To Do About It

The most common New Year’s resolution that people make is to lose weight. Now, it may seem like it’s easy, you just have to train every single day, and then you’ll lose every pound by the end of the year. But is it? In today’s episode, host John Laurito uncovers the reasons why most resolutions fail. From what goes wrong during planning to what people don’t do during execution. Listen in to find out what they are and avoid failing your own resolution this year.

[0:00] Intro

[1:09] What’s my version 2.0?

[5:26] It’s more than visualization

[7:38] Visualize the worst possible scenarios and prepare yourself

[13:57] Figure out how to tip the odds in my favor

[20:46] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large for the last 20 years. Today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic. What makes the best leader so good? Welcome to tomorrow’s leader! 

John All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader related related to leaving yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito, your host. Welcome to twenty twenty two unreal. Just flew by last year. It always does. I know everybody says it, but it did once again. And now we’re in 2022, and I got to tell you, I’m super pumped. I am ready to rock and roll. I am ready for big, big things in 2022. I know all of you are probably feeling the same way. You’re really happy to be out of 2021 and hopefully out of this soon out of this whole crazy mess with the pandemic. So then you can stay healthy. I know I told you in the last episode I got hit with COVID. Not fun, but mild, relatively mild considering what I’ve heard of other cases. So, but bottom line, stay healthy. Stay safe. 

John So it is now January 3rd, 2020, to I know 90 percent of you have set some kind of New Year’s resolution, whether you’ve written it down, whether you’ve told somebody else, whether you’ve just thought about it in your head, maybe you’ve made it really specific. Maybe you have not. But usually holiday time and the reset of the whole year is the time where people start to think about, OK, what does my version 2.0 look like? Like, what do I want to do better? Less of more of differently, whatever? How do I want to change my life for the better? And sometimes it’s just a small thing. You know, I did an exercise of version 2.0 of myself, so literally and I wrote down all the things that I want to do, what I want to get better. I mean, it was everything from business stuff, personal stuff, relationships, health, everything that I wanted to change, even just passions and interests. Hey, I want to get I want to get into college football. I’m not into college football. I’d like to get into college football and I want to develop. 

John I think once I get into it, I’m going to be really passionate about it. So just little things like that. And I think that’s always a fun exercise. As you know, I do a lot of journaling and just, you know, I took some time to review 2021 and say, OK, what went well, what it goals that I exceed? What did I fall short on and why? You know what circumstances change to that that I didn’t expect? What were things that I underestimated or overestimated? What were the things that led to success? What were the things that led to failure? By doing that, it helps prepare me and gets me better and better every single year, every single month. I feel like I get better if I can think back to what are the reasons why I had success or the reasons that I had failure, what the reasons I didn’t stick to certain plans? What are the reasons I stuck to other plans? So I think that’s a great exercise. But I want to talk about why do the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions fail? I don’t know what the statistics. 

John I’ve heard all kinds of numbers, you know, it’s probably 90 plus percent of of New Year’s resolutions over time fail. Now, I think two thirds of them probably fail in the first month, and that’s January. And it’s not because of intentions. We all have great intentions. Everybody comes out and I’ve talked to friends and seen the conviction in their face and their voice of Here’s what I’m going to do, and I’m thinking now you’re probably not. And it’s no, it’s no, you know, jab or anything at them. It’s just humans in general. We tend to want to do things. We think about things, we talk about things. But when rubber hits the road, we just don’t execute. We don’t do it, we don’t stick to it. We started, we don’t finish it. Whatever the case may be, we get derailed. And again, we’re all good people. It’s not anything about our intention. 

John It’s not even sometimes about laziness. Sometimes it is, but it’s that we there’s a few core reasons why this happens, and I want to go through that today in this episode. What are the reasons that most New Year’s resolutions fail? I go to the gym with Jeff, you know, every morning, and we actually we worked out in his house, in his garage today. And I was thankful because I remember last, first of the year, whatever January 2nd or 3rd, it is just packed. The gym is packed. I mean, it is wall to wall. The parking lot is like nothing you’ve ever seen. I go to lifetime fitness in the parking lot is here. The gym itself is huge and the parking lot is enormous and it’s like a mall and it’s packed. I mean, it’s packed annoyingly so at six o’clock in the morning. And what I know and every year I say the same thing, and Jeff and I saw the same thing last year that, OK, let’s just wait a few weeks by third week, probably in January, it’ll thin out to about half of what it is. 

John And by February, it’ll be probably back to normal. So all we have to do is wait. And it’s it’s all because of this concept that people just don’t stick. So their goals, they write them down sometimes, which is better than not writing them down, chances of reaching that goal increased just by writing your goal down, so that’s a quick tip. But even then, sometimes we don’t stick to it. So here’s the reason. When we think about stuff, when we think and we think about vision boards and things like that that we I’m a huge visualizer. I mean, I visualize a meditative visualize about what I want to accomplish and who I want to what what version of myself, I want to become where I want to get better. All this and it’s served me extremely well over my life and over my career. I’ve done it all since. High school sports visualization is absolutely key. But what I’ve learned over time is it’s more than just visualizing the successful outcome, because if it’s something related to performance that you have prepared for, so that baseball game and I’m pitching OK, I’ve prepared if practiced, I’ve done all everything I need to do now. 

John The visualization is all about a successful outcome based on all the practice and preparation I’ve had. OK, that’s different. That’s going to get my mindset, my confidence and everything. My stress levels down. It’s going to get me in the right zone to perform. The other type of visualization is visualizing something in the future of who I want to become or a goal that I want to accomplish. Maybe it’s physical. Maybe I want to lose weight. I want to get in better shape, and I’m visualizing the feeling of going to the pool or going to the beach in summer. It’s now January. They’re going OK in six seven months, going to the beach, going to the summer and being able to take my yellow shirt off and feel good, you know, be walking around on my bathing suit and actually feel like I’m in shape. Like, I’ve got abs and I’m wow. I’m like feeling like the best shape of my life. That’s a really great feeling, right? 

John Visualizing that is awesome, and it’s fun to really kind of get lost in that thought, you know? Yeah, I can do that like I can. I can get to a point where I’m really proud of how I look, not embarrassed the how I look or self-conscious about how I look, but feeling great. Maybe I’ve got so much energy. I’m working out more. I’m just my confidence level improves and I feel just healthier and I’m eating better. And I’m just now I’m thinking about maybe doing like triathlons and stuff like that. It’s just this new me. It’s exciting to think about, right? But what happens is sometimes what we don’t think about is we’re not thinking through the whole process. I’m visualizing the end result. But why these goals go wrong is we don’t visualize and prepare ourselves for the hardest times. Now this is different than than many people think because it’s like, OK, well, I got to focus on the positive outcome. 

John Yes, but it’s not just that the law of attraction is not just I think about, you know, money and success. I’m going to get it. It doesn’t happen that way. That’s part of it. But you’ve got to think about and execute on the hardest stuff that you’re going to have to execute and prepare for that that’s going to lead to that successful outcome. So if I want to get in great shape, I’ve got to visualize the toughest of toughest parts. Part of it, let’s say, is working out. I’ve got to visualize how miserable I’m going to be waking up at 5:30 in the morning when it’s rainy or like this morning, snowing and dark out and cold out and nobody’s up. Nobody’s on the road and I’ve got to get myself out of my place dressed in my car. I get to go to the gym, I work out, I get it, go through pain, sweat and have that lactic acid build up and feel the strain of my muscles. And I’m just tired. I’m comfy in this bed. 

John That’s the stuff I’ve got to think about. And when I’m feeling like that and facing that insurmountable obstacle, all those things working against me, what am I going to do? How am I going to handle it? What am I going to say to myself? That’s going to get my ass out of bed and going to the gym? That’s the stuff that’s going to help me get to that goal get if I’ve got to stick to a diet, and that’s one of the things that’s important to me. OK, great. You know, there, sometimes it’s going to be easier or easy. And other times it’s going to be really hard. Think about what are those hardest times? Maybe it’s a Friday and you’re with family and everybody is talking about ordering pizza and that’s your favorite food. You can live on pizza for the rest of your life, which I could. And they really want to order the pizza and they do. And that pizza sitting in front of you and ask the gooey cheese and it’s crispy. It’s got a good undercarriage. It’s nice and it’s a perfectly done pizza. Got a little pepperoni on the top. A little pepperoni. We get a little bit. Say I get a little pizza bell pepperoni. Is it a parmesan? 

John I get the tomato sauce, so it’s a little crispier. It’s a perfect. Is. How am I going to handle that? I mean, that’s really tough. What am I going to do? Do I walk away? Do I get out of that situation? That’s the stuff I need to prepare myself if I’m really committed to stay the diet. I can’t bear most people just don’t think about that. If I’m doing a marathon, I’m thinking about crossing the finish line. Wow, and being able to tell everybody. For the rest of my life, I did a marathon. How what small portion of the population is. I’ve done a marathon. I mean, it’s a fraction of one percent. To be able to do that is unbelievable to me. Unbelievable. But it’s unbelievable because and it’s such a rare thing because it’s so hard to do. So how are you going to handle when you don’t feel like getting up for your run, when it’s raining outside and you don’t want to run for an hour outside when it’s freezing cold outside, when you hurt yourself, or when you got a blister on your foot or you forgot your water and you’re out there, you’re dehydrated, whatever the case may be. How are you going to handle this and how are you going to deal with it? 

John I find most people are not prepared for that. You know, that’s that’s really number one. You know, I think about people that once they’re suffering and I took a I decided I did not drink during after Christmas, so I did not. I had several events and I started on last about a week ago and I said, Listen, I’m not going to drink. And these were events, one of which being New Year’s, that I would normally drink and have a great time. Now I actually hosted a small party, so I had a bunched group of my close friends and family and kids and whatnot, and it was just great time. But it was really hard to stick and I said to myself, I’m not going to drink, but I needed to prepare myself, which I did. What are going to be all the circumstances they’re going to make me want to have a drink during a night that I would absolutely normally be drinking. This was really tough. Then all my friends zero to have fun and great. You know, let’s close out 2020 one, bring in 2020 and style. I was hosting the party. You know, here I am like, you know, I felt like, OK, this this is temptation, right? But I had to prepare myself. 

John I probably had to say no 20 times that night. And that’s no, no, no fault of anybody’s at all. I remember is like, Hey, you want to do this or whatever? And it was a blast, though, and I had a great time, but it was hard, and I only think I made it through because I know I knew what to expect. I prepared myself for it. I knew I was going to handle it mentally and what I was going to do physically. All types of goals that you have are going to have. Things are going to really tempt you. They’re going to challenge you, they’re going to push you off your track. There’s going to be these forces are going to come and try and knock you right off your path. You just have to be prepared for it. It’s like riding a bike and you’re doing great. And all of a sudden you get a cross breeze like huge crosswind that throws you off your bike. Well, it’s really hard if you don’t know that’s coming because you just lose your balance if you’re on a bridge or something like that. But if you kind of expected and know it, or at least brace yourself, that’s much better. You know, that’s why pilots are always asking, you know, the flights ahead of them, hey, they’re reporting back on the air turbulence so that they can prepare. 

John They can maybe adjust. Maybe they go down to a different altitude where it’s a little smoother and not as choppy. Or they tell the passengers, Hey, buckle up your seatbelts, it’s going to get really bad if they didn’t do that. That might scare the crap out of us more than it normally does. When you have bad turbulence, you’ve all been on a plane with bad turbulence, but it’s all about preparing for the worst. And that’s how you get and accomplish goals. The second thing I will tell you the other piece of this you have to figure out, and there are always ways to do this. Always ways to do this. You have to figure out how to make it. And I’m not saying easy, but as easy as possible to do what you need to do. So I always envisioned I’m like, I wish there was something that. When my alarm clock went out, I mean, went off in the morning at 5:30 that there was like this device that would pull my bed up. It would put it at an angle. 

John I’d slide down the bed, my clothes would be there. I’d slide into my gym clothes and I would have my toothbrush right there, grab it. And as I was going down this big slide, they’d be brushing my teeth. My car keys would be in my hand. I grab those and it would slide me right into the car and I’d slide all the way right to the gym like it would be. This easy thing wouldn’t even have to move a muscle, really, and would just be easy. You know it doesn’t exist, but can I do things that make it a little bit easier? Yeah. Can I have my clothes out ready the night before so I don’t have to be? That’s one less thing I have to do when I wake up. Absolutely. I’ve talked about the three percent that makes the other 97 percent happen. I really focus on what are the small things, what’s the smallest thing that I can do that will make everything else either easier or totally unnecessary. And I know if I just say to myself, I’ve got to stand up in the morning, I’ve got to stand up, that’s it. And I’ve got to get my feet on the ground and I’ve got to put my gym clothes on. That’s it, because once I do that, I know everything else will happen. 

John I’m not going to go back into bed. I’m up now. I’m going to brush my teeth that I’m going to grab my car keys, grab my water bottle, I’m going to go to the car, but I start the car. Once I start driving, I’m going to go to the gym. I’m going to go back home. Once I get to the gym, I’m going to work out. I’m not going to just sit there, right? So it’s all these things. What can I do to create more likelihood of success? I shared a video, I think, I think on the podcast, maybe I didn’t. I think I talked about something called the fun theory that Volkswagen did, where they put up piano keys train station in the old and plan train station in Sweden, Sweden, and they made a task of going up the stairs. They made fun. They did something to make a hard activity enjoyable, and they turned it into a game. And they found that like whereas 70 or 80 percent of the people were taking the escalator when they finally put these stairs up with the piano keys, 70 percent took the stairs. 

John So can you think about different ways to kind of jerry rigged your whole life or manipulate your life in a way where for in a good way, where it helps you do the tougher things? You know, if I find that I get distracted because I’m on social media or TikTok or, you know, one of these things where I’m just addicted to, well, I can figure out ways to limit my time on there. I can actually limit it. The phone has technology. I can put a limit on it. I can give somebody else the code to that. So they are in charge. And now I have half an hour a day as opposed to spending two or three hours a day. Whatever the case is, there are all different ways now you can put the odds in your favor of reaching a goal. If I know that I tend to get are discouraged any time I’m working toward a goal. Then let me find a power partner. Let me find somebody who’s going to help me through it and be my accountability partner and give me the encouragement I need. 

John Everybody needs people in their circle, in their corner to help them do the things that are really tough, right? That’s a way that I’m going to now kind of create the right surroundings that are going to help me do the things that I wouldn’t normally do. That’s the beauty of life. It’s like a big game. I’ve just got to figure out, how do I set up the puzzle pieces in a way where I’ve got the highest likelihood of success if I work best and I’m more focused in one area of my house? I’m going to do my most important work in that area of the house. Now, for me, I need to bounce around. I got different spots in my houses, kind of like multiple offices in my house. I just need a change of scenery throughout the day sometimes. But I know also if I really need to focus on something, I’ve got certain music I play as I know that just gets me focused. I’m like, less distracted. You know, there’s just certain things that will get me into doing things that I wouldn’t necessarily normally do. So my message to you is those two things. 

John One is visualize the toughest things and prepare yourself mentally and tactically and strategically for what are you going to do when you face those toughest times and the biggest challenges as you’re working toward your goals? OK? Secondly is you have to think about how do I create a higher likelihood of success? How do I tip the odds in my favor? What do I need to do to change the surroundings or alter my game plan in a way where I have the highest likelihood of success? Do I need to do certain tasks at a different time? Do I need to make sure that I’m I’m keeping the right food and taking the wrong food out of my fridge? Do I need to make sure that I’m having my accountability partner track the stuff and I’m doing all my stuff on on an app on like life, some which I use? For diet and exercise and weight and all that stuff, and we share that whatever, whatever the thing is going to do, that’s going to help me the most and increase the likelihood of my chances of sticking to that, then ultimate that’s going to be success. I would love to see our whole society change where we just become great. 

John I love to see gyms popping up all over the place because they can’t handle the demand. There’s so many people that are belonging to gyms that are just so many popping up, but unfortunately gyms know it too. They offer great deals in January because they want to hook you and sign up for an annual membership that they are not going to stick to. That’s how many gyms work, so they overbook. They know that if that gym can fit a thousand people, they can have 1500, 2000, 3000 sign up. They know that they just know, they know by human nature the statistics of what percentage of people stick to it. So in any event, I hope that helps. Think about that. Do something with that, OK, take some action on it and let me know what you’re doing. I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to hear success stories. Hey, John, you know what? That really helped me. I thought differently. I planned my game plan a little bit differently. I want to see 2022 be your best year you have ever had. Absolutely. All right. 

John So thanks for joining today, as always. Like, share, subscribe. Give me feedback in the comments. Go down below, give five star reviews and we’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody. 

John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Once again, that’s John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on. 

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