Just because I’m not a fan of New Years’
resolutions doesn’t mean that I discount them for everyone else. The sad fact is though that for most people
New Years’ resolutions won’t work, with around 80% failing by the second week
in February. So how do you give yourself
the best chance?
The first way is by thinking in terms of
weeks instead of the whole year. For
most of us the stretch of a whole year is too long to maintain momentum, or too
far away to connect with. In that case
instead of twelve months why not think in terms of twelve weeks?
This means that it’s easier to feel that
the end is in sight, which in turn will help with maintain momentum towards
it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have
a longer term goal, but instead you can work towards it through staged goals. It also means that you have the flexibility to
tackle more than one thing throughout the year – to exercise more and to start
to learn that new language.
But how do you keep the momentum going
through those twelve weeks? Here’s where
an idea called “no zero days” comes into its own.
The idea behind no zero days is that you
commit to making sure that you never have a day where you don’t take a
practical step towards your goal. For
instance, if your long term goal was to redecorate then you wouldn’t have a day
go by where you didn’t do something like fill holes or cracks, rub down some
paintwork, paint, etc.
The effect of this is that as you build up
an unbroken string of days you not only build momentum, but you actively become
more and more averse to missing a day with some activity in it. What the activity is is immaterial – it can