Quitter’s Day is the second Friday of January each year. Quitter’s Day is set aside to recognize those who set new year goals and fail to achieve them. The tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions began 4,000 years ago with the ancient Babylonians. The idea for Quitter’s Day is to encourage and support those who have given up on their New Year’s resolution or goal to try again and ultimately succeed.
Research has shown that people quit their resolutions for the year, and many good intentions are abandoned in about two weeks. Because this is only 3% of the entire year, which seems so tiny, it made me wonder why so many people want to improve their lives, businesses, and communities, yet for all our best efforts; we run out of willpower in only two weeks.
I have discovered that there is much more complexity to our brains, willpower, and ability to make changes. The bad eating, lack of exercise, playing small, staying in our comfort zone, and not taking the necessary action were not something we decided to do one day because it was a special day on the calendar, signifying a new cycle of time. Our habits are twofold.
The patterns of things we do and the habits of things we do not do, and those habits have been developed over time through our subconscious mind and all of the choices we have made leading up to today. Many times even the people that care about us the most, like our parents, friends, and other close family members, have played an enormous role in shaping our habits for the worse without even knowing it. They wanted to protect us, they wanted us to be “safe,” and they put their perception of the world and the circumstances they faced into you.
Regardless of our willpower, setting a goal and achieving it can not be done just by making the declaration one day and trying to dive in. You must have a plan, dig deep, do some internal work, and set up a support system to see you through to that goal or resolution. You have to clarify your reason for making this change of habits with your subconscious brain and make sure that the reason is stronger than any potential excuses that could come up in the future. And when you set your goals based on what you think the outside world wants you to do, it will never happen.
I have created an eight-step plan to put all of this in place and have seen people who have traditionally been unable to make sustainable changes reach their goals. Creating an action plan to reach a goal is counterintuitive to what we hear on social media today. The “get off your butt and grind” or “fake it until you make it” cultures make many people feel inferior because they see others doing it yet can’t get themselves to muster up that much willpower. Those people screaming at you to grind hard don’t tell you that their reason for grinding hard was more significant than the excuses, but that is the messy internal work they did.
That dirty inner work doesn’t make for perfect Instagram stories or curated YouTube videos. But the reality is that any of us can achieve a goal if we create a system and accountability plan that will allow us to believe it until we achieve it. I love discussing this idea, so reach out and tell me what you think about your goals and resolutions that didn’t happen.