As we look towards 2021 we may choose to create a list of resolutions for the next 12 months. Many people will probably agree 2020 has provided plenty of life lessons! This is likely to be the catalyst for personal change and resolutions in the new year.
So how do we ensure we follow through on our promised resolutions? Unfortunately, many people forget their resolution within weeks. A major reason for this is because it can be deceptively difficult to develop new ingrained habits ‘cold turkey.’
So how can we achieve all we want for a better future?
Here are our 3 top strategies for achieving your resolutions.
- Swap the word “resolution” for “goal”. Goals are powerful. They can extend our vision and move us closer to our potential. They make it easier to create plans and to accomplish what we set out to do. They can help us realise what seems impossible is achievable when we put our focus to it. Resolutions, like aspirations, are usually a means to a goal, but if you find a resolution too difficult to stick to, it is usually dropped and forgotten. With goals you can adjust them to a lower intensity or pick a different path leading to the same end result, and not lose sight of the goal.
- Include behaviour changes, not just measured actions. For many, simply setting a goal rarely leads to actual behaviour change. Rather than think in terms of quantifiable goals based on simple measures, define the behaviours you want to improve which achieve your desired outcome. Specific goal success then becomes the outcome of implementing positive behaviour change. For example, rather than saying you want to go to the gym 5 days per week, commit to choosing a healthy activity every day (walking, or parking your car further away to increase your step count). The goal becomes behaviour driven, rather than a measure of if you went to the gym or not.
- Focus on adding, not taking away. It is usually easier to add a behaviour than to stop a behaviour—so focus on adding more positive behaviours. Eventually, they will squeeze out the negative behaviours. For example: Instead of making the goal to eat less unhealthy food, focus on trying to eat more healthy food. You may subconsciously feel more deprived if you think of taking something away. If you replace unhealthy food in your diet with healthy food, the same goal is accomplished.
As you move through the year you may need to adjust your plans. New projects can pop up or plans may require more time than you realised. Consider regularly reviewing your goals to ensure you are on track and adapt them as you need. Remember: Change doesn’t come overnight. As you work toward developing what is important to you, the change will come, and it will be lasting.
Enjoyed these tips? We can help with tangible tools and support. Join us for our next workshops:
*Also available as a live, facilitator-led virtual training course