It’s that time again, when 92% of people who make an abundance of resolutions, break them within a few weeks and spend the next couple of months feeling like a failure.
So, let’s disrupt that tradition.
Allow me to share some advice I’ve spread to thousands across the world through various radio show and podcast interviews.
Here are 5 ways to create resolutions and then stick to them.
(1) Be Realistic
Choosing a New Year’s resolution that’s realistic is a crucial step toward success. You may wish to live more healthily, eat nutrient-rich food and exercise regularly – but it’s not going to be helpful to decide to never eat another cake and to work out at the gym 7 days a week. This is an all-or-nothing approach, an extreme goal full of absolutes – with no flexibility.
Perhaps, creating a goal of working out twice a week and keeping a daily food log would be a more realistic goal. Setting unrealistic goals is not motivating; in fact they tend to be demoralising, because failure is almost guaranteed.
(2) Bite sized goals – work better
Set yourself a long term, larger goal and then divide the bigger goal into smaller goals. Setting many small goals leads to a higher chance of overall success than setting one large goal. Small goals allow you to be successful many times along the way and success is a hugely motivating factor in keeping a New Year’s resolution.
(3) Reward Successes
Positive reinforcement: it works for dogs, it works for children, and it works for you too. Setting up a reward system is a great way to stay motivated. However, you should never set a reward that is counter-productive toward your goal.
For example, if you successfully visit the gym three times a week for the first two weeks of the year, a satisfying reward may be going to watch a movie with a friend, buying a new piece of clothing or something else that you may not often do. These activities will be especially satisfying because they will have been earned through hard work and dedication.
Having others commit to the same New Year’s resolution as you offers many benefits – one being ‘accountability’. It is a lot harder to decide to take the day off from the gym when that decision involves calling a friend to explain why you won’t be able to meet them at the gym that day.
Friends help you stay on the track when you falter. Another benefit of having a New Year’s resolution buddy is that neither person feels alone in their healthy lifestyle efforts. It can be difficult to eat only raw fruit and vegetables when it feels like the rest of the world is eating hamburgers and French fries.
(5) Never give up, never give in
New Year’s resolutions usually involve trying to make some bigger changes in your lifestyle. Change can feel difficult, and it may not happen all at once. There are often stumbles and slip-ups along the way. Don’t quit.
Positive thinking is an important part of finding that resilience to try again. Beating yourself up about mistakes is not going to get you any closer to accomplishing your goal. Giving self-encouragement and space to try, and to make mistakes, and to try again is the key to making lifestyle changes.
Give it a few weeks into 2017 and feel free to let me know how you’re progressing. If you need help creating and sustaining the motivation – book a FREE consultation with me and I’ll advise you exactly how to achieve the personal success you desire.
You might also want to read this blog post about resolutions.
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