A new year, a new you. I have read that on the social media, in magazines, everywhere but it doesn’t sit well with me. Do I really want a ‘new’ me? No. BUT, who wouldn’t like an improved you? Sounds good doesn’t it, so how do I do it? We have all had the experience of picking something to resolve to change on January 1st, fresh start. Then in February or maybe March, we are asking ourselves what it was that we were working on in the first place. Queue the downward spiral of feeling bad about ourselves for not being able to stick to our plan.
After working with hundreds of people, here are the things that I notice make the biggest impacts on making lasting changes.
1 - Your goal has to satisfy your ‘why’ and be truly meaningful. If you want to lose 15 lbs because you are focusing on the number on the scale, we are almost always going to fail. We fail because we aren’t connecting with the deeper, more enriching ways this will impact our life. Change losing 15 lbs to have more energy, improve cholesterol and blood pressure, and feel well in our body.
2 - Whatever you choose to resolve to change has to be something that is actually attainable in your life. For instance, if you don’t have enough time in your day to do an hour of yoga, you would be better off committing to 15 or 20 minutes of yoga daily. This change needs to be bite size. The positive outcome of doing yoga for 20 minutes daily might lead you to doing an hour of exercise daily once you are doing it but if the goal is to lofty, you are more likely to give it up altogether.
3 - Make a plan. Having a plan in place gives us a better road map and perspective on where we’re going and what potential things we may encounter along the way. Start your plan by taking some quiet time (no phone, no TV) to sit with yourself to really get clear on your goal, and remember to make it meaningful to you. After you have the goal clearly laid out, write down what might help you get there. This may include enlisting the assistance of a friend, mentor or other professional. It might require you to ask a friend or family member to be your cheer leader to keep you on task with your goal. Once you have your plan and steps in place, find a way to look at that goal daily. Keep a connection with it to help you to motivate you. Find others that have done what you want to achieve to encourage and motivate you. If you are derailing, check in to see that the goal isn’t too much for your life. Make sure you have added all of the necessary steps of support to help you achieve your goal.
4 - Lastly, believe. You don’t actually have to believe 100% that you can do this thing. Surprisingly, you only have to believe it 3%. Yes, just 3% goes a long way. You. Can. Do. It.