New Year’s resolution time is here. Every year, millions of Canadians will make them. And, every year most will fail at achieving them. Why? Because most New Year Resolutions are unrealistic. Very little thought has been given to the personal process involved.
When making a resolution after the most indulgent and stressful season of the year, people want to flip the switch from over-indulgent to restrained or from imperfect to perfect. Many people fail at their goals because their focus is on the goal and not on the realistic process of achieving the goal.
A New Year’s resolution means committing to a change and then navigating the transition process to realize that change. The change (or goal) is what you want to achieve; the transition is your individual journey towards achieving it.
The key to success in any resolution is being committed and well prepared. Here are a few tips for you to consider when planning your New Year’s Resolution:
i) Identify what you would like to change and achieve – pick one (maybe two) goals.
ii) State the goal in a ‘whole life world view’ rather than in absolute terms. For example: commit to a healthier lifestyle not to losing 25 pounds; to living in smoke-free environment not to stop smoking immediately; to financial wellness not to refraining from all leisure spending, to an engaged parenting style not to be a less-stressed parent.
iii) Be informed about the goal that you would like to achieve. Why do you want to achieve it? What difference would it make in your life? in the life of those you love?
iv) Craft a process (a plan) toward realizing your New Year’s Resolution. What are the realistic steps to get there? Know that setbacks will happen. Setbacks are part of learning and changing.
v) Act as if you have realized your resolution. As Gandhi said “Be the change that you would like to see in the world”.
vi) Let people – family and close friends – know about your resolution. Having support is a great motivator. Friends and family can be your best cheerleaders.
vii) Review your process weekly with a mindset of Reflection, Correction & Action. What worked, what did not work and why? What will you do the same or differently in the coming week?
By identifying your goal and committing to navigating completely your transition process, you are well on the way of allowing your resolution to become a part of who you are.
Enjoy the journey.
Photo courtesy: Penny Higgens