It’s hard to believe it is that time of year again. The Holidays are flying by, and 2013 is about to become a memory. So how did this year work out for you? Did you accomplish all the resolutions you set for yourself this year? Do you remember what those goals were?
We can make changes at any point in our lives, but there is something iconic about a new year. It’s a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. With the right perspective and support just about anything seems possible. However, the sad truth of the matter is that although most of us have great ideas for the coming year, most of those goals will end up by the wayside by February at the latest. It doesn’t seem to matter how much we want to change. Keeping up with daily demands leaves little time or energy to focus on changes we would like to see happen.
If there are things in your life you would like to change (hint: there should always be things you would like to change), there is one certain way to make sure those things won’t happen. Write down those goals, share them with your friends at the New Year’s party, and post them on your refrigerator so you see them everyday. This is the way most people plan their resolution for coming year.
It’s also the reasons most of those resolutions never happen.
Making lists is great. I make lists all the time. But when it comes to planning changes I want to make for a year, that list just isn’t enough. After all, you are planning to make some major changes in your life. Do you really think you should prepare for that the same way you prepare for the weekly grocery shopping?
Here is another option. Instead of writing down your resolutions on a post-it note, take some time and really think about how you would like your life to evolve in the coming year. Where would you like to be this time next year? Perhaps you want to be healthier and off your prescriptions for high blood pressure. Maybe you want to change your diet. Does a new job–or less stress in the current one–sound appealing? The great thing about resolutions is that they belong to you. It is your choice and also your responsibility if you want to make them happen.
Once you have the vision of what you would like your life to look like, the next step is to write down why you want it to look like that. As an example, losing weight is always up there this time of year, but the only way you will be truly successful at reaching a goal weight is by determining why you want to be that weight. How will it change your life and how will it make you feel? Just saying, ” I want to lose twenty pounds” is not really a motivator. “Losing twenty pounds so I can have more energy and keep up with my kids” is whole different story. Not to mention the boost of self-confidence and increase in self-esteem that comes with it.
Therefore, the resolution is not to lose weight. The actual resolution is about gaining energy and spending quality time with the kids without being exhausted. Losing the weight then becomes a means to an end, not the end itself. Once you clarify what you really want to accomplish, it becomes much easier to develop a long-term plan to help you get where you want to go. Following a sound nutrition guide and consistent exercise plan then become stepping-stones on the journey to your destination, not just something you are doing because you think you should.
There is one other secret about resolutions that will almost guarantee you reach those goals. Find an accountability partner. It can be a spouse, a co-worker, a friend, or a coach. Set up a time each week to check in and see how you did during the week and make commitments for the coming week. It does take time, but knowing there is someone who will be calling you out when you start to lag or lose interest is a great way to stay motivated. Don’t think of it as a judgement session. Think of it as an accountability and support session. You will be amazed at the results you will create for yourself.
If you always follow through on your resolutions and have a different set each year, then congratulations are in order. However, if the same list seems to surface toward the end of each December, you may want to give this method a try. It’s worth a try. Who knows, you just may end up with the life you keep dreaming about.
Need a little help deciding what to change in 2014? Contact me for a complimentary session. Just thirty minutes and you will have a blueprint for how to move ahead in the coming year.