Did you start out with a great purpose to change something about yourself and your focus this year and for any number of reasons are already starting to lose the will to see it through? It might help you to know that you've got company; as despite our good intentions most of us won't turn our vision into reality. Seems a bit gloomy, doesn't it?
The reason why most of us don’t achieve the resolutions or goals we set ourselves on January 1st is that we haven’t taken into account the small changes we need to make every day to the way we think or act that lay the foundation to successfully create our future. Because of this, the great and glorious vision we have for ourselves at the beginning of the year can quickly become a wish, and given a few days or weeks, fade into obscurity altogether.
Our circumstances tomorrow, or later today for that matter, are for the most part shaped by these small daily decisions we each make for ourselves within whatever framework we normally operate, be it societal norms, government direction or influence of family and friends. Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying that the best way to predict the future is to create it. For me, this is a great way to think about how we are all able to effect great change for ourselves, and by taking small steps consistently we can do it without the overwhelm and burden of failure. With a bit of focus on understanding and creating a good environment to make the incremental decisions we need to support our vision we can all successfully transform it into an achievable goal, which in turn will become our reality in the future. Here are the three essential ingredients to being successful in this aim:
Know your why
Being able to clearly articulate as specifically as you can why your goal is important to you is hugely helpful for sticking to your plan when things come along to knock you off course, as they inevitably will. Really get down to the nitty gritty here: “I want to lose some weight and be healthier this year” is much more motivating when further described as “so that I have the energy, confidence and resilience I need to be fully present with my kids and still have something left for me”. Getting very specific here goes a long way to reducing our reliance on white-knuckled will power because we will naturally be more inclined to think and act in a way that supports the goal.
Never miss twice
If you commit to never missing the new action you want to take two times in a row then you’ll be at least 50% of the way creating the new habit. This allows you to cut yourself a little slack and not get too bogged down in a ‘failure’ scenario, simply know that if you missed it once that’s not the end of the world, but commit to getting back on track the next time.
Schedule your success
Make the attainment of your goal a non-negotiable part of your life. Take 10 minutes at the end of each week to physically schedule the time into your calendar for the next week or longer. Mark this time in a way that means you won’t bump it for anything else because your goal and your time are at least as important as everyone and everything else you keep going! Setting reminders and motivational quotes that suit your goal to pop up regularly in your week can help to keep you on track.
If you’d like to get clarity on where or why you’re getting stuck progressing towards a health goal that you’ve had for ages or you’ve got a new one and want to map out the path for success then book a free ‘first steps’ coaching session with me to start your year off on the right foot. Choose a time that suits you by clicking here.