For the new year, I offer you one suggestion...
Save yourself some grief and ditch the New Year’s resolutions!
Personally, I’ve never seen them work for anyone (myself included) unless your goal is to take yourself on a guilt trip about not sticking to your resolution, or waste precious time and money on goals that you won't stick to.
So for 2017, why not try ditching your resolutions altogether? Consider a different approach to accomplishing the intentions behind your resolutions.
Goals usually have some planning and action behind them whereas resolutions tend to be vague and something “you’ll do tomorrow.” Try setting a very basic, simple goal that you feel pretty sure you can reach.
Instead of “I’ll go to the gym for an hour three days a week” try something as basic as “I’ll take a quick walk around the block after dinner” or “I’ll take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.” These small changes become new habits which can really add up over time!
Or, instead of “I’ll spend more time visiting family and friends” try “I’ll take a minute during the day to connect with a family member or friend that I can’t visit at the moment.” The whole point is create forward motion and take steps no matter how small your steps are!
Four Key decisions to make right now!
(1) Decide to acknowledge and use your past successes
Ask yourself what worked in the past to get you moving toward this goal. This will give you valuable data going forward about what not to do and what not to do again.
(2) Decide On one new habit to adopt starting today
Think of a simple, quick habit you can develop daily or weekly to work toward your goal. The simpler, the better!
(3) Decide to get started right away
Right away as in, today! If your goal is not something you can or are willing to start right away, I suggest either revising it or ditching it altogether. If it immediately becomes something “I’ll do tomorrow” in your mind, your chances of success are already pretty low.
(4) Decide to get professional help if you need it
If you find yourself having trouble making any movement at all with your goal and feeling, professional help may be the best way forward. Seek out a personal trainer, dietician, financial planner, career coach, therapist, or whoever you may need to help you get started!
If you remember nothing else here, the main takeaway is to create some kind of forward motion – ANY forward motion - as soon as possible! If without feeling the motivation yet, just take the first step right away. The motivation will follow, but don't wait for it to come to take action. Oftentimes, action leads to motivation, not the other way around.
© Decision Point Therapy, LLC