Many clients describe ambitious resolutions for the New Year. Shortly after these are made, they are forgotten, ignored, or avoided. Below are some ways to make resolutions you can keep.
1. Measurable. How will you know if there’s progress? Where are you starting? Where do you want to be? Put a number to your resolution. For example, if you want to exercise more, give it a quantity i.e. 3 times a week for 45-60 minutes.
2. Wiggle room. Start off small. If you rarely exercise, begin with 20 or 30 minutes daily with an option for a day off. A goal of working out for an hour or two every day is a plan more likely to fail. Once there is failure, motivation goes down. There’s always an option to up your goal after the first one is met.
3. Track and reward. We often forget where we began and are discouraged that we “aren’t there yet.” Every week or every other week, check in on accomplishments. Reward yourself daily, weekly, and/or monthly for positive changes.
4. Slippage happens. It takes 6 months to solidify any new habit. A bad day is normal. What determines success is how fast you catch yourself, regroup, and get back on track.
5. Positive works better. What are you going to be doing or replacing? Let’s say the goal is no smoking. Create a plan to stop smoking by replacing smoke breaks with a walk outside or chewing gum. Want to lose weight? Focus on eating healthy, exercising, or going to the gym instead of no junk food.
Happy New Year,