Let’s face it, we all have something we know we could work on to be healthier and more productive in our lives; and just like January 1st begins a new year many of us use this opportunity to make resolutions to identify and tackle areas we know we need improve on to live more fulfilled lives. The key to New Years resolutions really is not in the making of a resolution it is in actually successfully following through. High percentages of the population makes a New Year's resolution or two – unfortunately most resolutions made end up in failure. So should we simply STOP making New Year's resolutions? No, I don’t think so. But certainly most of us need to change our approach if we are going to succeed at seeing our resolutions through! Here are some tips to sustain your New Years resolutions in 2018 and
move towards a better, healthier you.
1. One resolution and only one! Many of us try to tackle far to many aspects of our lives and we make a number of resolutions rather than just focusing our energy on one specific goal. I
encourage people to pick the #1 area they believe they should work on the most and focus on it. Remember, more is not necessarily more... often less is more! Make one resolution, pick the area you believe you need to work on the most – and go after it!
2. Realistic goal! In picking your goal, make sure it is a realistic goal to go after. For
example...creating world peace likely is to big of a goal, but working on yourself to live a more intentional and peaceful life is likely doable. Smaller goals are more achievable.
3. Breaking your goal into achievable steps helps you be successful. You might look at your goal and determine stepping stone goals that help you to achieve your bigger goal. If you want to run a marathon you might not want to try it on day one. You probably want to ease yourself into a level of fitness that allows you to achieve your ultimate goal. Small steps help you get to your big goal.
4. Many businesses talk about setting up SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). In my life I use the SMART Goals approach to my New Year's resolutions. Make sure you are very specific about what your goal is, make sure you can measure your progress, make sure you can achieve progress, be realistic about the progress you are making. All of this helps you achieve your goal in a timely fashion.
5. I also try to ensure that I am using the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) as I go after my goal. Complicated goals tend to never come to fruition. Keep it simple!
6. It’s been proven that if you write your goal down and have it visible to you daily that you are far more likely to successfully achieve your goal. So – write it down! Look at it daily! Remind yourself of the promise you made to you! If you can’t keep a promise to yourself, who can you keep a promise with?
7. Tell a friend or friends about your goal. A few years ago when I was well overweight and out of shape I made a promise that I was going to do the Ride To Conquer Cancer. 280 km in 2 days. I told my friends, I told my family, I told the Cancer Agency. By telling everyone my goal I was locked in to taking the steps I needed to take to successfully complete that ride. I began to train, I lost weight, and by ride weekend – I was ready! If I hadn’t have told anyone... I might well have still been eating Ding Dong’s and piling on the weight. I’ve made that ride 7 consecutive years in a row now. It’s an overnight ride and when I reach the halfway camp at the end of the first day they have a tent where you can sign up for next year's ride – which I do – so that I have that goal already formed moving into the next year. Ohhh and by the way... I’ve maintained a great weight loss program for 7 years because of this goal.
8. Rebound from setbacks! Setbacks are just that, setbacks. Don’t let a set back stop you. Life is filled with setbacks and those who achieve their goals are steadfast! Believe in your goal, believe in you, and overcome setbacks! Sometimes life is like a “two step dance” two steps forward, one step back... don’t stop the dance because you’ve run into a set back... step forward, you will be glad you did.
9. Reward yourself! Goals are not easily overcome. If they were easy to overcome we probably wouldn’t need to address them in our lives. We all have character weaknesses. Some of us like to eat too much, others it’s drinking, for others it’s lack of exercise or patience or whatever. The things we tend to focus on as resolutions are the harder character flaw issues we’ve identified in ourselves. They aren’t necessarily going to be easy for us to overcome. So we need a SMART plan that allows us to work at our goal and we need milestone celebrations to keep the momentum growing as we take steps forward. I like to achieve and I like to celebrate as I achieve and get closer to the person I want to be in the future! Set some rewards for yourself and make sure you celebrate on your road to success! It's way more fun to celebrate your resolution journey.
10. Make your resolution a normal part of your life! There is really no sense in achieving a goal and then reverting back to the way you used to live prior to setting the goal. If you do – it will only be a matter of time before that issue in your life will have to become a goal once again. Pick a goal, go after your goal in a smart way, make it a regular part of your life and sustain the goal. Once you have mastered your goal – get after you’re next big, hairy, audacious goal! If you haven’t thought of what your New Year's Resolution is for 2018... it's time to start getting that goal set in your mind. Be creative as you look to the future. Success is in you! Happy holiday season to you all – and go get your goal in 2018!
All the very best!