Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation, and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.
Traditionally, New Year’s Day thought of as the ideal day to kick start a new phase in your life, with the all important New Year's Resolution. Unfortunately, just because the calendar year changes does not mean that other changes will come easily.
Don’t set yourself up for failure in 2017 by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.
1. Just Pick One Or Two Things
If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one or twos areas of your life to change to start. Once you acheive your goals you can pick additional ones! Who says you can only make a resolution on January 1st!.
Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so.
2. Plan Ahead
To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.
Read up on it – Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.
Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the equipment ready to go.
3. Anticipate Problems
There will be problems so make a list of what they might be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.
4. Pick A Start Date
You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I
5. Go For It
On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.
Your commitment card will say something like:
If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.
If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.
Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.
7. Plan Rewards
Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days and they can continue to be encouragement throughout your journey. Make a schedule of reward that will be earned at different accomplishment points.
Whatever your plans and goals are for 2017 we wish you luck!
Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution in 2017? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new?