5 Ways to Make your Resolution Stick
With the holidays over, we turn our thoughts to New Year’s Resolutions……the “high hopes” list of all the things we hope to accomplish in the next year. I don’t mind resolutions – it’s an opportunity to set some goals – for me personally, for my business – things to focus on over the next 12 months. I try to be realistic so I’m not setting myself up for failure in the first week. I think about the following:
1. Is the goal attainable? Let’s be real – there’s no way you can make an exercise class 7 days a week if you have other commitments that prevent you from adding it to your schedule. Additionally, if you’ve only been exercising once or twice a week, saying you’ll go seven times is a drastic change and you might be so sore that Epsom salt baths won’t even cut it, making yourself prone to injury and hating yourself for making such a goal. I’m all in favor of those “chewable bites” – steps you can accomplish and then add on to. So maybe if you were going twice a week, say you’ll get there three times for the next month, and then four the month following, and be pleased that you are improving. Look at your calendar – for me there are busy months and less busy so consider that too and know that things like travel and other commitments may hold you back or cause you to modify some weeks.
2. Can it be measured? Vague words like “more/less”, “better/smarter”, “skinny/strong” make it hard to convince ourselves we actually succeeded. So for example, instead of saying “I’ll be healthier,” say “I’ll include a fruit or vegetable with each meal.” I’m really bad at staying connected with family (really bad), so one of my goals is to reach out to at least one sibling every week, and make sure I hit all four each month. If you are trying to save money, set a certain amount aside from each paycheck - you could even open a special savings account for the purpose and tell your employer - often times they can automatically deposit a certain dollar amount into one account and put the remaining net into your regular checking.
3. How can I set myself up for success? Don’t set goals with no tools/energy/capacity to achieve them. Consider what you can do personally. When I wanted to hit a certain yoga pose, I did little things to help myself get there. I practiced some other exercises/poses that (in this case) built strength in my lats, shoulders, upper arms and abs, and I attempted the pose at home several times a week to help me get there. Tell others about your goals. If you’re looking to exercise more, or read more, etc. tell those you are with so they know about it. Tell them you want to hit class on Monday night at 8pm. Then they know to work dinner and other things around it. Maybe they can even help you stay accountable. Speaking of which, having an accountability partner is always great support – someone who will encourage you to keep working in the right direction.
4. Believe in yourself. As a business owner, the one thing I am reminded of literally every day is that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. Others can support you, but you have to drive the bus. You have to believe you can make it happen. Even if there are days you have to fake it, you still have to be your number one fan.
"To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when no one else will." - Sugar Ray Robinson
5. MOST importantly, consider what you need to release. So often we think we must add things to our plate when it comes to resolutions, but we forget that in order to add something, we need to take something else off. I was reading a McKinsey article about leadership. Included was a quote:
“What got you here won’t get you there.” – Marshall Goldsmith
What do you want out of 2019? Indeed, you will need new/different things to get you there. You will also need to leave behind that which does not support your progress. What do you have that is holding you back, preventing you from getting where you need to be? What is it that you can wring out of your life and leave it in 2018? Sometimes we have to close our own window to allow another to open. It's not easy, I know. Consider writing it down on a piece of paper, then taking the paper and balling it up and throwing it away. Some have set the paper on fire (outside or in the fireplace) as a sign of release. In yoga this week, we focused on twists – not only detoxing our bodies but assigning something to each twist, allowing us to repeatedly wring it out of our system. Other options would be to cancel involvements, subscriptions, memberships, etc. Maybe it’s a person you need to see less of, or a particular food or beverage item you need to stop buying at the store. Or maybe it’s simply less time with anyone, and more time with you.
In summary, balance is no simple accomplishment, some might argue it is pretty much impossible – so consider letting go of what you don’t need to make room for those new resolutions, then set yourself up for success by making the goal realistic, measurable and with a network of support to get you there.
Best wishes for an amazing 2019!
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