When it comes to making lame New Year’s Resolutions I deserve an award.
I’ve come up with some really spectacular examples in my time from the oh-so-predictable; (exercise more) to the ridiculous; (eat less cheese), yes in 2009 that really was high on my agenda – don’t ask!
My confession this week is that I’ve never kept a single one of my New Year’s resolutions.
The problem is that deep down I don’t believe that New Year’s Resolutions really work and here’s why.
WHY I NEVER MAKE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ANYMORE
The whole ‘turning over a new leaf’ as dawn breaks on January 1st is a charade, a farce. It’s most commonly a hollow promise you make to yourself based on an impulse. You are just paying lip service to what we all see as a cultural tradition. It’s ‘what you do’ at New Year’s, like gifts at Christmas and eggs at Easter.
The problem my friends is that setting and attaining REAL goals is a process. If you are serious about making changes to your lifestyle, whether they be big or small, you are most likely to be successful if you plan a realistic strategy and work through it with intent.
In other words, if you really want to stop eating cheese you have to be honest with yourself that, that is what you actually want to achieve, set a workable plan and stick to it.
NOPE. YOU’VE GOT IT WRONG
Maybe you have really tried at New Year’s. Maybe you’re reading this right now and feel that I’m doing you an injustice. You tried, but you failed. Whether you were a resolution charlatan like me, or whether you just couldn’t make your new lifestyle changes work, I’m here to help with a goal setting strategy.
I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT … AND IT’S GOAL SHAPED
I’m a born-again goal setter … but I wasn’t always this way. It took a while for me to realize that instead of complaining about the things I didn’t have, I should set out a way to get them. I am an ex-teacher so for me that meant putting together a pen and paper process that I could work through. I made a small workbook and it worked. I liked it so much that I shared it with other people.
It turns out that they liked it too.
In fact they liked it so much that my goal-setting guide is the most downloaded freebie from my password protected page: ‘The Vault’.
For some people, goal setting comes easily. For the rest of us, we need a little support. Something to guide us and help us to turn the ‘thinking’ process into the ‘doing’ process.
WHERE DO I BEGIN?
#1 If you are serious about shaping 2017 the way you want it, you first have to carry out an assessment of the past year. What were your successes during 2016? What went well? Also think about what didn’t go so well. What could you have done better?
By the way, I encourage you to stop and congratulate yourself on your successes. Often we carry out a year-end review in a giddy whirl. It’s important to take time to pat ourselves on the back or to pause to remember milestones and achievements.
#2 Once you’ve assessed where you are now it’s time to think about where you want to go next. Set yourself an achievable, realistic, relevant goal for 2017. It can be a year-long goal or something you want to achieve within a matter of weeks or months.
#3 Make a workable plan to get you to where you want to go. If you want to read ten books by the end of 2017 how are you going to make sure that happens? Set yourself up for success not failure.
EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH A SINGLE STEP
What are your intentions for 2017? What do you hope to achieve? What areas of your life would you like to improve and/or change?
Asking yourself questions like these is the first step on the road to change. If you don’t know where you are going, you will find it almost impossible to effectively plan your journey.
If you would like some further support to make your goals a reality in 2017 please sign up for my goal setting guide. It’s completely free and you will also get unlimited access to my other health and wellness resources.