Do you take time to make resolutions every year? Are you convinced at the beginning of every year that this time you will definitely stick to them? You start off brilliantly, but by mid January your enthusiasm begins to wane, and by February you’ve realised it’s never going to happen! You link back in to your old habits, safe within your comfort zone, maybe a little frustrated?
Why don’t we keep resolutions?
There are many valid reasons why we don’t stick to our resolutions: a failure to prioritise, procrastination, burnout, lack of resources, time, consistency, confidence, motivation discipline. You name it.
Do you want it to be different for 2018? What if 2018 was the year that you not only created resolutions, but stuck to them and achieved your goals? What would that mean to you? How would that make you feel?
Without being a magical formula, 5 small changes can make a difference in 2018!
1. Start with the end in mind…
(…as Stephen Covey said!). It has been proven that a clear vision helps us to stay on track and creates the energy we need to stay focused. Set aside some time to visualize how you want to feel this year? What you want to achieve? What you might regret if you don’t do it?
Take a holistic view and include all aspects of your life – work, family, health etc. They are usually interconnected. For example, you can set a number of goals that you want to achieve in your career, but these are may only be possible if you remain fit and healthy, and have your family around to support you.
2. Do not try to be a superman, or superwoman for that matter
Ever started a new year imagining all the great stuff you will do, only to find yourself a couple of weeks later feeling discouraged and maybe even a little guilty for failing in your objectives?
Limit the number of goals you set yourself. Focus your efforts on a few goals, break them down in to smaller steps, and be as specific as possible about your desired outcome. Starting small is proven to lead to greater success when trying to create a new habit.
3. Aim high but not too high
If you only set yourselves goals within your comfort zone you will end up doing, what you have always done. You will not be challenged. If you set your goals too high, they will feel unreachable. You will become overwhelmed, and maybe even disillusioned.
Think elastic band – if you don’t put any tension in to an elastic band, it’s useless. If you overstretch it, it snaps. Try to keep yourself in the middle zone, often referred to as the ‘learning zone’. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but keep with it. Soon it will be your new ‘normal’
5. Enjoy the journey and review your progress
In order to stick to your resolutions and achieve your ultimate goal, it’s important to take some joy from the journey. Take time to celebrate your small successes along the way, not just when you reach the end, otherwise you might not make it!
Writing down your goals and keeping track of them enables you to see how far you’ve have come and will help you to stay motivated with your focus set in the right direction. Write your goals down in a journal, make them in to this year’s screensaver on your computer, print them out and frame them above your bed. Do whatever works for you, but keep them visible.
5. Find some allies
When you share what you want to do differently for 2018 with others, you create your own support system. A group of people, or even just one person is useful to help you keep on track, to challenge you and to support you, as well as to celebrate your successes. Think who will be your allies? What support will they provide?
Sticking to our resolutions is never easy. We start the year with good intentions and then life takes over and they get forgotten in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. In 2018, I’m going to put these 5 small changes in to action and see how I get on. Why don’t you join me?
Happy 2018 Everyone!
If you have any tips for sticking to News Year resolutions that work for you, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
If you’re in Montreal and keen to explore how to create a personal vision for 2018, with a great support network, come along to a taster workshop on the 25th January
Thanks to Florence Roisin at Magellan-Transition for her input in to this post. Great, as always to have your insight.