If you’ve made a resolution this year, and want to keep it, then these seven simple tips can help you to make a success of it.
- Only make one resolution. Trying to make too many changes at once is uncomfortable, and may well make you less inclined to persevere. Don’t pick a whole shopping list of changes that you want to make – choose the one thing that will make the biggest difference to you and go for that. Remember once you’ve made the first change you can add others later, and with one success already achieved you’ll increase your chances of success again.
- Make the resolution your own. Don’t make a resolution because other people are, or simply to please someone else. Make sure that the resolution is in line with your values and your ambitions, and that you understand what it means. For instance “be healthier” is doomed to failure as a resolution. Instead think about the outcome that you want, and what will motivate you positively – perhaps more energy to play with your children, or shopping for clothes in a size that you’re happier with.
- Be specific. Think about how you are going to get from where you are now to your goal and set yourself targets that you can measure. For instance instead of “do more exercise” as a resolution think instead of something specific like “I will go swimming in my lunch break on Mondays and Wednesdays”. If you write these goals down then you stand even more chance again of achieving them.
- Tell your family and friends. Keeping your resolution to yourself means that it’s easier to fudge, or even to forget, and harder to achieve. You don’t have to ask your friends and family to make the same changes that you are, but just to be supportive when things are hard and positive when you’ve been successful.
- Keep at it. Even when you’ve shared a resolution that you’re really motivated to achieve it still won’t always be easy. New habits take time to become established, and old habits take time to move away from. Being persistent, and responding maturely to any lapses or wobbles, are the approaches you need to bring to bear.
- Don’t not can’t. If you have stopped smoking then instead of saying “I can’t smoke” say “I don’t smoke”. “Can’t” suggests that you can, but someone or something isn’t letting you, while “don’t” puts you firmly in control.
- No zero days. No matter what you want to achieve it will come from a long run of days where every day you did something, no matter how small, to help you achieve your goal. For instance if your resolution is to de-clutter then make sure that every day you do something towards that – and if it’s the last thing at night before you go to bed when you remember to then it doesn’t matter how small a thing it is. What matters is that you have no days where you contributed zero to achieving your goal.
If you want to know more about these techniques then follow the links, or search for “Be your own coach” articles in the blog posts.