They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results; a statement that would have most of us locked up if we applied it in a literal sense to the world of failed resolutions. If you truly want to stick to your New Year’s Resolution this year, make a change to the approach you’re taking by following these simple steps.
1. Focus on just one resolution
You may have grandiose plans to become a better, faster, shinier version of yourself in 2015 – and that’s fantastic! – but the more spinning plates you try to keep in the air, the more likely you are to find yourself surrounded by a lot of broken ceramic. Write down all of your ideas in one place then decide which one you’re most passionate about and narrow your focus towards that.
Example: I will lose 15lbs in 2015.
2. Translate your goal into a list of small habits
If you want to change something in your life, you have to start by reprogramming the old habits that got you to the state that you’re no longer happy with – the proverbial “teaching an old dog new tricks” if you will.
Lay the foundation of your resolution by writing down a list of small, simple habits that will allow you to take baby steps towards the larger goal.Give each task a deadline and work on changing one habit at a time.
Example: Habit 1: Replace my morning muffin with a banana (start January 1st); Habit 2: Go for a 10 minute walk every day at lunch time (start January 15th), Habit 3: Stop putting sugar in my coffee (start January 20th)…etc.
3. Build your support team
Asking for help is one of the most important things you can do when you really want to get something done. If you’re serious about your resolution, talk about it with people who can help you reach that goal – and this doesn’t just have to be a list of friends and family, it can (and should) include people whose job it is to help you succeed in your respective resolution.
Example: Mom, husband, dietitian, personal trainer, counsellor specializing in weight management…etc
4. Give yourself a head start
There’s nothing more tedious than prep work, which can deter a lot of people from ever getting their resolution off the ground. Take away that excuse by mapping out your habit timeline and contacting the people who can help you now so that come January 1st, all that’s left to do is get yourself started.
Quick Tip: If you’re seeking outside help, phone them before the new year to schedule a consultation in December and book your first session with them for early January.
5. Don’t expect overnight success
Going into your resolution with a clear understanding of what to realistically expect is going to be absolutely invaluable. If you’re prepared to put in the time and effort it takes to create these new habits, the transition will become so much simpler and manageable than if you try and make a big change right away.
6. Plan for bumps in the road
Nobody is perfect and that’s what makes us all so interesting! Understanding that there will be struggles and hiccups along the way (and having a plan in place for when there are) will help you overcome these obstacles and continue moving forward. Don’t let a little setback cancel out all the hard work you’ve put in leading up to that – fix whatever problem you’ve encountered then keep going.
7. Schedule milestones and celebrate your successes
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy…schedule in a number of milestones or targets to reach along the way and give yourself a solid pat on the back when you hit them. Reward yourself with something that is congruent with your resolution and really be proud of yourself for getting to that point.
Example: Buy yourself a FitBit when you lose 5lbs.