WOW, my inbox gets hit every day with info about New Year’s Resolutions, what to change and how to make these changes happen! I’ve read that 70% of people don’t stick with their resolution and 40% of those that make resolutions never even start. Yikes! Why bother then?
I like the idea of starting clean at the first of the year, focusing and making things happen that maybe didn’t work out so well in the past year. It’s sort of like starting with a clean office, or getting organized on a Monday or moving into a new house. It just feels good and is invigorating to start a new year! But I think when it comes to making resolutions or goals, there are some right and wrong ways to do it. Here are some steps to make sure you are successful in your New Year’s changes.
1) Start with the FEELING – before you even name your goal, start with how reaching that goal would make you feel. Be general, enjoy the thought of you having extra time in the evening just for you since you’re not bringing work home, or visualize yourself 20 pounds lighter and how would you FEEL at that weight, how would you FEEL in the new size and clothes at that weight? How will you FEEL if you are spending more time with a loved one, connecting, talking, understanding each other? Now milk that feeling and focus on it daily as if you’ve already reached it. Maybe even take some time to write about how you feel.
Ok, it sounds weird right? But if you can’t see the end product and can’t enjoy why it’s so important for you to do this, you won’t get there. You’ll get overwhelmed in the action, you’ll focus too much on the fact that you’re not there right now and never see the end result. Really, FEEL your way to it.
2) START SMALL – one reason resolutions fail is because we start too big! Small changes over time is where the goods are! I have a difficult time being practical when I’m just making a to -do list. I start writing down the things I want to get done and suddenly it’s 2 pm and I’m working on the 10:30 am activity. I throw my hand up and let the rest of the day slide. Focus on your goal and schedule in ONE THING you need to do each day to help you reach your goal. It might be as simple as committing to 20 minutes of exercise every day or adding a vegetable to your evening meal or reading 10 pages of a personal development book. If you do that one things consistently (and something that small is pretty realistic to accomplish daily) you WILL see changes this year.
3) SCHEDULE IT – Our lives are busy! If we don’t schedule in the important things, something else will crowd in and take it’s place. If it’s important to you and you truly want to make a change, you need to block out your schedule so that you get it done. We all have a planner or online calendar; write it in your day! Now go do it!
4) MEASURE IT – Face it, if we don’t see some kind of progress, we lose heart. Make a graph for your weight or measurements, post your meal plans on your refrigerator and mark off the days you ate well, journal about your courage or the way you reacted differently when faced with a conflict. Measure your progress in a way that is meaningful to you. Seeing your baby steps will keep the momentum going and will keep your attitude in the right place.
5) ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER – we all do better when someone is supporting us and expecting us to do what we have promised we would do. We seem to be better at keeping our promises to other people than we are to ourselves (no one knows when we break promises to ourself!) Find a friend, co-worker or one of my accountability groups to keep you on track. If your goal is health/fitness, I’m starting a new accountability group on the 12th. Join us and get the results you want!
With a feeling and belief that you will make this change, a structure and way to follow up, you’re gonna rock this year! Let me know how I can help!
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