As 2018 begins, you might be contemplating some new year resolutions. But did you know that 22% of resolutions fail after the first week, 40% after the first month, and 60% after just 6 months? If you would like to start the new year on the right track and successfully achieve your resolutions this year, then this guide is especially for you!
This year I would like to…
Lose weight, exercise more, learn a new skill, give up smoking, give up drinking, become healthier and improve my life. Sound familiar? I hear you. We have all been there. These are also the most common new years resolutions so why are they likely to fail?
Why are resolutions likely to fail?
The number one reason resolutions are likely to fail is that they can be too broad and unrealistic to achieve. They usually lack real meaning, and are set without a structured plan in place. Confidence and being ready for change also plays a role. If you aren’t ready to make those changes and are not confident enough, then you may be doomed before you even start. For resolutions to be successful you need to have a structured plan in place, otherwise there is no path to follow. Preparation is key. Therefore, we have put together a 5-step guide so you can successfully achieve your resolutions this year.
Before You get started, ask yourself — am I ready?
This is one of the most important parts for achieving your resolutions. How ready are you for this change? How important is it for you to make these changes? A good way to measure this is to use the ruler scale. Give yourself a number between 1 and 10, with 1 being not ready, and 10 being your readiest . What number are you? Ideally you need to be a 7 before you get started.
Step 1 — Create your resolution vision board
Your resolution vision board is the picture that you have of yourself living your life the way you want it to be without any obstacles. It is you at your very best. Grab a pen, pencils, magazines, or post it notes and get creative! Your vision can be in any shape or form that you want it to be; a picture, a painting, drawings, bullet points, scribble… it just needs to be unique, and meaningful to you. Before you create your vision, ask yourself, what is the reason I want to be this way? What is the true meaning behind my resolutions? Identifying your deep motivators will help keep you on track. If you feel comfortable, share it with your most trusted friends and family, having support will help keep you accountable during this journey.
Step 2 — Write down your strengths and achievements
We rarely take time to reflect on strengths and achievements in life. But identifying all the things that you are good at, and do well in, will boost your confidence. Take some time to write out your top five strengths, and any memorable moments and experiences where you have successfully accomplished something. If you are struggling to think of them then you can take the VIA strengths survey to help you.
Step 3 — Identify obstacles and plan a strategy
Have a look over your resolutions and ask yourself, what could get in the way? Make a list of any potential hitches that may arise. Once you have jotted them down, read over them and start planning some strategies to overcome them. Remember preparation is paramount!
Step 4 — Be prepared if you fail
This step is often the most overlooked but it is also one of the most important. There can be a tendency to give up after failing, but failing is part of successful change. Be prepared for falls along the way, but rather than throw in the towel, pick yourself up, learn from it, grow and move forward. This is all part of your journey.
Step 5 — Get SMART
Now that you have your vision, identified your obstacles and planned some strategies, it is now time to set some SMART goals for your resolutions. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attractive, realistic and timed. By using this principle, you will smash your resolutions this year. For example, if your resolution is, “I want to be exercising a few times per week”, this is too broad and does not fit the SMART formula. Whereas, “I want to run on Mondays and Wednesdays for 45 minutes, and do strength training on Thursdays and Saturdays for 30 minutes” fits the formula as it is specific, measurable and timed. Realistic and attractive is equally important. The goal needs to be something that you really want to do, as well as be realistic for you to achieve. You can use the 1-10 ruler scale again here. Ask yourself, how confident am I in achieving this? How important is it to me? Is it realistic for me right now?
It is best to start with a 3-month outcome goal, with small weekly action steps that will lead you towards the 3 months. Starting with 3 months is more realistic to envision. If things change too quickly, you struggle to adapt. It is the small (and realistic) changes that lead to long lasting change. Ask yourself, what would I like to be doing in 3 months that will direct me towards my resolutions? What can I do each week to get there? Don’t forget to use the SMART formula with every goal. Review and repeat every 3 months.
So now you are ready to successfully achieve your resolutions this year. Strap yourself in and get ready to start living your life the way you want it to be! 2018 is going to be your best year yet 😉
If you would like more help on goal setting , you can book a workshop, or a one on one coaching session with me. Contact me for more info!