My New Years resolution for 2020 and the three barriers that might get in my way

Ben Nash

So this last week has been a bit unusual for me.

I’ve had a bit of an extra spring in my step. I’ve been getting up early, making some time for mindfulness training, going to the gym, going to bed early, have already knocked over two new books this year (from a standing start I might add #snapstomyself…).

And compared to the back end of last year I’m a different person. I couldn’t seem to find the time or motivation to do any of these things.

Now I could say that’s been a coincidence, or that I’m doing all this stuff because I’m a changed man and and this is a new me etc etc.

But that would be total BS.

The reason I’m doing this stuff is because of our old friend the new year’s resolution.

But the reality is that the vast majority of new year’s resolutions fail, with the stats around our failure rates ranging between 80%-95%. This means that at best I have a 20% chance of following through on my plans for the new year, and it could be 5%.

I wonder if I’ll make it…?

I feel confident. You see, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.

The tricks I’ve learnt from the people I’ve seen crush their new year’s resolutions over the years. Specifically all the people that I’ve spoken to and worked with over the last 10 years as a financial planner.

In that time, I’ve noticed there are barriers that make the biggest difference between success and failure when it comes to achieving any big goal or target.

The three barriers to achieving your goals are not getting started, not having an effective framework, and not being accountable.

Barrier 1 – Getting started

The first barrier is a big one, but in my opinion is the easiest to overcome. With anything important, the first step is always the hardest. But once you take that step, you immediately create momentum which you can then use to make your next steps easier.

Barrier 2 – Effective frameworks

The second factor though is where I see a lot of people come unstuck. When you try to tackle something challenging without a good framework, you’re making your work 1000x harder than it needs to be.

It might be something like trying to exercise to get a bit healthier, a meditation routine, or getting your finances in shape, trying to figure it all out on your own is next to impossible. And it’s also a bit a waste of time in my opinion.

A waste of time because almost anything that’s worth doing has been done successfully by a bunch of people in the past, so why recreate the worlds best recipe when you can just go to a cooking class and learn all the tools and hacks.

For me, embedding mindfulness practice into my daily routine is my big goal for 2020. And I’ve been practicing mindfulness for years, but in ebbs and flows. So, to make sure it’s going to stick this year I researched some different frameworks until I found one that really gelled with me, then the very last book I read last year stepped me through the what, why and how to make it happen.

I now have my framework in place that I know has worked for a heap of people, so I not only know exactly what to do, have the tools, routines, and roadmap to make it happen, but I have full confidence in what I’m doing because I KNOW it works.

Barrier 3 – Accountability

The last one is also pretty simple, but super powerful. It’s also where strangely I feel that about half the people that break through the first and second barriers fall down.

When most people think about accountability, they think about being accountable to someone else like a coach, trainer, partner, or friend. And that works, but only really because being accountable to someone else forces you to be accountable to yourself.

When you tell someone else your targets, you put them into the world and make them real. That’s the first big step to your accountability.

The weird thing is, that even though at the deepest level you’re really accountable to yourself, you sort of need someone else to end up accountable to yourself.

The second and final step is to commit to when and how you will report your results to whoever you’re accountable to. Without reporting the actual information back, there’s no way to tell if you’re on or off track.

The wrap

The new year can be a great time to get on the front foot and set yourself up for an epic year. But it won’t just happen on it’s own. If you want 2020 to be a year that’s things actually change, avoid the three barriers above and you’ll give yourself a solid chance at bucking the trend and making your resolutions happen.


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Sydney: Tuesday 14 January – Invest like a Pro (minus the mortgage)

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This session is an introduction to the principles that drive money success, the key mistakes to avoid, and the the key things you need to be across to make smart money choices that will ACTUALLY be good for YOU. Tickets here.

Melbourne: Thursday 21 January – Making cents of your money in 2020

This session is an introduction to the principles that drive money success, the key mistakes to avoid, and the the key things you need to be across to make smart money choices that will ACTUALLY be good for YOU. Tickets here.

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