Making resolutions stick
We’re two weeks on from the date when most New Year resolutions are broken by – the 17th of January, having earned the title of Ditch New Year Resolutions Day! (New Year does seem a long way ago now, doesn’t it!).
So how are you doing?
Did you make any New Year resolutions?
I confess I didn’t!
When asked on New Year’s Eve if I was making any, I said I hadn’t quite decided. I then went on to give a whole list of ones that I ‘could’ do – the usual: going to bed earlier, drinking more water (yes even me!) etc. By default of not having decided on a specific one on time, I didn’t make any in the end!
This isn’t unusual – I have made fewer resolutions as the years have gone on. Not because I believe I have everything sorted but more due to my preference for taking a shorter time period to change.
I do like the idea of setting a resolution for each month. This allows enough time to put in place 12 new habits over the year and is much more achievable than one for the whole year.
At the same time, in practice, if there is something I want to change or do, I like to take one day at a time with it. This One Day at a Time motto is familiar to those making bigger changes around their daily habits. I have found it useful with any change to simple focus on TODAY. Three key benefits of this are that:
- The first step is most often the hardest and therefore by deciding to change now, today, you take the first step.
- Once you have taken the first step, you are already doing your change. (Don’t underestimate the mental shift that takes place here from going to do something to now doing it).
- Habits are built by us doing the same thing time after time after time or in this case, day after day after day. If you can do your desired change one day, you know you can do it the next and the next and the next. Focusing on one day removes all fear of not being able to keep it up as all you need to focus on is doing it TODAY.
Choosing one word for the year nicely complements the above one month or one day approach. Here you choose any word that you would like to keep with you for the year ahead to help you to stay on your desired path.
My word? I wanted to be greedy and choose more than one however playing fair, my word for 2019 is Sleep. (When doing this exercise in a group recently someone else also said sleep before going on to clarify; less sleep in their case – they correctly assumed mine was more sleep!).
Start with the end in mind
Like me with my list of possible resolutions, how do you decide what you would really like to work on or change? Starting the year with the end in mind is a good way.
To try it, fast forward in your mind to the end of this year. It’s now December 2019 and you are looking back over the months and year that have just passed. Feeling pleased, proud and contented:
- What do you see that makes you feel this way?
- What has changed?
- What is different or what are you doing differently?
These reflections provide the answer to what you may want to work on.
How will my 2019 be different? I have exciting news that I am doing a Yoga Teacher Training course over the next few months. Fitting in nicely on both a personal and professional level, I’m really looking forward to striding out in the mornings in my sporty leggings (nothing different from the present here except I will need to leave the house!) and yoga bag slung over my shoulder, hoping my body will survive its demands!
If you (or someone you know) would like 2019 to be the year your resolutions stick, putting yourself and your health first, get in touch today by emailing me to fix a short telephone chat to see how I can help.