Starting the year with a list of New Year’s Resolutions may be as commonplace as ending the year without them. Perhaps therein lies the problem – starting with a list of resolutions intead of just one specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based (S.M.A.R.T.) goal . . . but I digress. Below are a few tricks to improve your chances of making the right resolution(s) and seeing them through to success. You can do it!
5 Tips for Successful Resolutions
1. Define Feelings First. Sometimes we set “the wrong goals”. We think that accomplishing a certain goal will make us feel the way we want to feel. For example, you may resolve to lose weight, or stop smoking, reduce stress, or spend more time with the kids/spouse/family, etc. but really what you want is to have more energy or to stop worrying about your immortality, or to stop feeling anxious. Maybe you want to rid yourself of shame. Or to feel more connected or safe or grounded. Whatever you want, your feelings may not be realized or satisfied if you set the wrong goal. Start by defining the feeling and then pinpoint the things that make you feel that way, essentially backing into a goal. If you ever say “I’m tired of feeling (fill in the blank).” That’s a good place to start. Connect the dots back to a goal that, when accomplished, will make you feel the way you want to.
2. Tell the Truth. If, say, your resolution is to eat healthy and work out every day - and these have been your resolutions every year for as long as you can remember, then perhaps you need to come clean about why you’re failing. Ask yourself WHY it is hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle year-round. Get your answer and then ask WHY THAT is happening. Keep interrogating yourself, fleshing out your excuses until you get to the truth. Be honest. It might not be pretty, but it is a place to start.
3. Break it Down. So you’ve decided that your goal is to feel proud and confident in your clothes. Breaking it down further, you want to look hot in your jeans and get positive feedback, compliments – whistles even. This could mean you need to lose weight, gain weight, buy new jeans, change your shoes, firm up your fanny or a number of other things. Point is, you are drilling down to a goal that can be measured and tracked.
4. Say it Out Loud! It’s part of the Secret, and it seems to work. Anyone who knows the power of prayer will agree that something about making your intentions, plans and wishes known to the universe makes them more likely to happen. Try articulating your goals and dreams out loud – often. Put them on the fridge or write them on the bathroom mirror. Say your goals with confidence to yourself and others. Don’t worry about failing or looking like a fool. Ignore the naysayers and negative people. The people who care about you will support you. Those who don’t, don’t matter.
5. Plot Your Strategy. Research your options, make your goals measurable and seek help. Monitor your progress and adjust if necessary, but don’t give up. Gather the right tools to measure and chart your success. In the case of weight loss or health improvement, you can use Diagnostic Products such as Body Fat Analyzers, Pedometers, Home Test Kits and Scales. If you make your goals and progress visible, you will remain committed and motivated.
Whatever you do, remember to reward yourself along the way! Good luck.