Keeping Your New Years Resolutions – There’s Still Time

Almost all of us have made new year’s resolutions. Some of us make the same ones every year and then forget about them a week later. We may set grand plans too hard to achieve and get discouraged when we realize it may be years before we accomplish anything. 

And just a tiny number of us set achievable and specific goals, patiently work hard at changing our bad habits every day, and eventually arrive at success.

To which group do you belong?  Do you struggle to keep your new year’s resolutions? Don’t worry; you’re in good company. It’s only too common to lose focus and determination when other things in life get in the way. 

But there are some practical steps that you can take to help you to set goals that stick and lead to positive change. 

 What Didn’t Work?

Before setting your goals, ask yourself some critical questions:

  • What didn’t work for me in the past?
  • What caused me to slip up?
  • How can I do things differently this time?

Once you’ve pinpointed the specific struggles you’ve had with breaking bad habits in the past, it’s easier to change them going forward. 

Don’t blame yourself for previous failures. Avoid negativity. Instead, identify the actions you can take to improve. 

Also, make sure that you’re making a change for the right reasons. To change because you wish to be in alignment with your values is in your best interest.  If you’re getting outside pressure to behave a certain way, beware that sometimes people meaning to help see things from their perspective, without knowing what’s best for you.  To uncover your true potential, you should always consult with yourself first, not just listen to others’ opinions.

If this is happening to you, I can help, by coaching in self-awareness and self-acceptance techniques.

How to Change Patterns

Remember, change is a process. It doesn’t come just because we decide to do things differently one time. Like anything else, it requires practice and patience. 

There may always be a part of you that doesn’t want to change – that wants to push in an unhealthy direction.   Thus, put a plan of action in place that includes what to do when the negative urges strike. The first step is the hardest, so make it a baby step.

A favorite strategy for setting goals is making sure they’re S.M.A.R.T. This management acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If it helps industry leaders set achievable goals, it can help you too. 

  • Be Specific

When it comes to resolutions, you need to be sure of your target. Otherwise, it’s easy to get off track. For example, don’t just say, “I want to eat more healthy food” Instead, say, “I’m going to eat less fast food by reducing my fast-food consumption brom 5 meals a week to none.” 

  • Measure Progress

Measuring your progress is key to staying positive and engaged. In the above example, you moved from the generality of “eat more healthy food” to the more specific of “less fast food” and then quantified what you meant by less. That’s going to be a lot easier to keep track of and make it more likely that you’ll achieve your goal. Start small and keep increasing the numbers when it comes to finances, physical fitness, writing a book, or any other project. The positive feedback that you take time to celebrate keeps you moving forward. 

  • Set Achievable Goals

If your goals aren’t achievable, you’ll quickly get discouraged when you see a lack of progress. Be ambitious, but still be realistic. Do you believe that you can realistically skip eating fast food? If you know you need to eat fast food once a week at least in the beginning, then say that so you are less likely to fail.  When you know what you need to complete your goal and work backward on what you need to do each day or week it is much easier to imagine getting there successfully.

  • Make Them Relevant

To give yourself the best chance of success, your goals need to be genuinely relevant to your life. Don’t simply make the resolution because you are overweight, or someone insulted you once. Reflect on what is important to you. Your good reason might be because a healthier diet can still be tasty and will let you live longer and happier. 

Keep Them Time-Bound

Resolutions should always be set within a realistic timeframe. If you leave it open-ended, you risk putting it off until tomorrow – and the day after that. Set up incremental progress check-ins so that you know if you’re on schedule. “I will reduce my fast food meals by one every month”.  If you’ve fallen off-track, don’t despair. Simply readjust your timeline and get back to work.

So, You’re Sticking with Your Resolutions – What’s Next?

Once you’ve established a routine that works for you, it’s time to find a community. This can be a group of people who struggle with the same issues in their lives. Or it can just be a close friend or two or a coach. 

The important thing is that you verbalize your intention to change. Once you do that, you’ll be more motivated to stick to the plan of action you set earlier. Set incentives for your success, such as rewarding yourself when you hit milestones. 

Finally, cut out negative influences. If you’ve vocalized your intention for change and a person in your life is constantly encouraging you to move in the opposite direction, it may be time to take a step back from that relationship. Find people that are supportive in your efforts for change. Consider putting boundaries in place. 

 Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a thought leader looking to inspire your community or a person who wants to build a growth mindset, I can help guide you toward your goals. As a certified coach and leadership mentor, I have years of experience shaping people’s roads to success.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to change your workplace culture or make improvements in your personal life; I’m here to help. I’ve coached my clients through dealing with difficult periods of change, taught them how to build compassion in their lives, establish a constructive work-life balance, and more.

You can find more information about the services I provide here. If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out here.