To be honest, I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, mainly because I think we can make resolutions each day to stay the course in pursuit of our goals. This does not mean we wont go off course; most of us will at some point either become distracted with other priorities, relapse, or change our mind about our goal.
Whatever or whenever your Resolution is; it needs to be linked to a strong ‘why’, you need to be completely connected to what you say you want to achieve and your actions absolutely need to match your words. You need to know why you want to achieve your goal.
For example if you want to lose weight because someone called you fat, that is not a strong why. It is not connected to you; it is driven by an external factor. You have to want to achieve your goal internally not based on someone else’s expectation of you.
Your Resolution needs to be supported by a plan of how you will get to your goal. Ultimately you need preparation. For example, to eat healthy you need to start with a list of healthy foods that you know you will eat (not based on a diet of foods you detest eating) and you need to set convenient days to shop so that you will always have the right foods available to stick your plan.
You also need consistency; if you stay in pursuit of your goal two days out of seven do you think you will achieve your goal? Basically the effort you put into your goal is what you will get out of it. It is important to strike a balance though. Being too rigid in pursuit of your goal can lead to boredom and/or resentment. So living consistently but being mindful of balance is a good recipe for success.
Your Resolution/Goal needs to be SMART
By addressing the following questions you are more likely to be more in tune and therefore more successful with reaching and maintaining your goal.
Specific – Is your goal Specific?
If you want to lose weight you need to be specific about how much. You need to state how many kilos you want to lose or what dress size you want to get back to. If you want a promotion you need to be clear what position you are after and how you will get there.
Measurable – Is your goal Measurable?
If you are following your plan, how will you know you are getting there? If you say you want to drop a dress size then measuring this is easy but if you want to lower your cholesterol then you need to set a date to have it retested.
Appealing/Achievable – Is your goal Appealing?
You need to list all of the positive benefits of reaching your goal and refer back to this list at least once a week. You need to find your goal truly appealing in order to want to achieve it.
Realistic/Relevant – Is your goal Realistic?
Based on your current circumstances in your life is your goal realistic for you? Just because you have watched someone else achieve a similar goal; their circumstances may be different as you may not have all of the information as to how they got to their goal. The size of the goal has to be realistic based on your current commitments. You basically need to work out how to walk before you can run.
Timed – Have you set a time frame to achieve your goal?
A time frame needs to be applied to your goal based on the above answers. So if you want to lose weight but you have barriers such as family birthdays coming up then instead of achieving weight loss at the safe rate of 1 kilo per week you may lower the goal to account for the barrier. If you need particular skills in order to get to your goal then obtaining these needs to be factored into the time frame of your goal.
Other factors that can help you keep your New Years Resolution
- Maintain enthusiasm by making the journey enjoyable (such as learning new healthy and tasty recipes) and by rewarding yourself/celebrating your successes) as long as these do not work against the original goal/counter productive.
- Obtaining support from key people in your life is very important. These people can help you celebrate your successes but they can also encourage you when you might lose focus.
- Very often goals are sabotaged by the voices in your own head telling you such things as “I am not good enough to achieve this goal”, or false statements such as “I am lazy”, “I will always be fat”. Pay attention to these negative statements and replace them with positive affirmations about yourself, such as, “I am full of energy and drive. I am healthy, I love exercise and I am at my target weight”
Finally, accepting that you are human and that life sometimes just gets in the way of your goals is crucial. You need to be kind to yourself in these moments but firm. Beating yourself up is detrimental, but accepting the set back and picking yourself back up is necessary to move you closer to your goal.
If you feel that you need more support to set and achieve your goals simply book your free consultation for Life Coaching in Essex.
To find out more please read about Life Coaching which focuses on the principle of behaviour change to achieve positive changes .