A few years ago, I made a new year’s resolution to lose 15 pounds. Like so many people, I started off very enthusiastic the first few weeks. But as the days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months, instead of losing 15 pounds, I gained 15 pounds!
How many of your start the new year with a gazallion new year’s resolution but don’t stick with it? You’re not alone. In a 2007 research done by Richard Wiseman from University of Bristol, about 80% of all new year’s resolutions end in failure.
Why do so many people fail? Most people set goals that are too unrealistic, unachievable and unmeasurable. I think it’s partly because change is tough. Notice that the most popular new year’s resolution is about changing one’s life:
- Quit drinking/smoking
- Get fit / Lose weight
- Spend more time with the family
- Get out of debt
- Learn something new
- Get organized
Changing one’s life and habits often feels like pushing a tank up a hill with sheer human strength. First, we fail, but we get back up. Then, our thinking changes to, “why even bother trying?” So, we get comfortable where we are. We get comfortable in jobs, relationships and situations that are just good enough. Deep down, we know we can get something better. But, we get stuck in a never-ending spiral of complacency.
My colleague, Roy, who is one of the smartest person I know, once told me that that status quo is your greatest enemy. It comes into your life like a juicy, shiny apple. But, it’s poison at its core. Status quo weakens your resolve to keep trying, cripples your drive to become better and imprisons your mind to a proverbial rut. It whispers to you, “why change when you’re comfortable where you are?”
This is especially true for entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs have dreams of building the next Apple, Facebook or Twitter. But, the world of entrepreneurship is one filled with uncertainty, blood & sweat and unwavering discipline. Definitely not comfort. If you wanted comfort, you should have just just found a nice, cushy 9-to-5 job. If status quo is Goliath, entrepreneurs are the first ones who step up to take a swing at the enemy.
So, as the new year fast approaches, ask yourself if you’ve let status quo win. If you compare who you are (mind, body and soul) and where you are in your career and relationship with a year ago, did you make a lot of progress?
Whether you have or haven’t made a lot of progress, keep fighting the good fight. Set SMART goals. Find a mentor. Look for a support group. Educate yourself. Read more books. Learn a new language or skill. Decide to start working on your dream startup this year. Find a business partner to build a startup. At all cost, you must not let status quo win. It’s a battle that you must win.