Are You “New” Yet? How to Make Resolutions Stick

Many people spend their New Year’s Day deciding what resolutions they will make and pondering what the next twelve months will bring. The Past few years I have decided to sit back and watch, and this is what I typically see and hear: “this year will be different”…“ I am ready to move forward to a new year”…“2014 (or 2013, 2012, etc.) is going to be so much better!” Sadly, I even hear “2014 was horrible, I’m so ready for 2015.” My personal favorite, however, is #newyearnewme. Unfortunately, by February or sooner this momentum begins to dwindle, and it saddens me. The beginning of the year is filled with promise, but in the very next month many people have already given up on themselves and their new lives. The old “stuff” comes back.

To add insult to injury, many companies use this as an opportunity to make money and hit you with some sort of magic pill. This really breaks my heart because they are using your pain for their benefit. So I asked myself what I wanted to do differently, and the word “support” rang through my head. I want to support people; I want to see them achieve their goals, but most importantly I want to scream, “Slow down and enjoy the process!” That has been a big lesson for me lately, and I am learning it at deeper and deeper levels. What has happened as a result is that, although I still work really hard, I have been able to relax and enjoy the process. More importantly I am able to enjoy the results! Most of us are already on to the next thing we need to fix in ourselves or our lives before we can even celebrate what we have achieved so far.

So what I want to offer you is an enjoyable, meandering journey. This journey will be filled with tiny changes that add up to huge, amazing things when you look back. I want to offer you patience and support. Why? Because it is the most loving thing you can do for yourself. Fight the urge to judge yourself and the need to fix something about you because it isn’t good enough. That does not work. You are more than enough right now, in this moment. So if you want to experience life differently (or maybe just tweak a few things), below I have given you an outline of loving, simple ways to do that now. Or you can approach resolutions the way my Maw-maw does. This year she told me, “I don’t have a resolution this year, because I am pretty damn perfect.”

If you have any questions about the steps below, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I’m happy to help.

How to Achieve Goals by Changing Habits

Write down new habits/goals- Keep your list of goals in a place where you see it frequently. Write down goals for all aspects of life.

Make a plan- write a list of all action steps needed to achieve your goals. What needs to happen for you to accomplish your goals?

Small Bites- Look at your plan, take each step and break it down to its smallest component. Add one component at a time, adding the next when you no longer have to consciously think of the previous one.

Repetition- Do/ correct your habit over and over until you no longer have to think about it.

Plan for failure- If we expect ourselves to be perfect, we will eventually be disappointed and likely to give up. By planning to fail, you will have a back-up plan and know exactly how to get back up after you have fallen.

Keep Going- The largest struggle usually happens right before the biggest payoff.

Be Accountable- Tell a friend or family member you would like their support. Hire a coach to walk the path with you. They can be supportive when you hit obstacles and cheer you on as you achieve your goals.

Celebrate- Treat yourself for your hard work in healthy ways that support your goals. This reinforces your new positive habit.

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