The New Year can be a good opportunity to reset your goals. But there is an art to getting them right.
Many reading this may well say they are “done” with new years resolutions – the very nature of them means that we keep coming back to the ones that haven’t worked in the past – so we tend to set resolutions around our weaknesses, rather than capitalising on our strengths. As noble as it is to recognise our weaknesses and attempt to change them, we are facing an uphill battle if we don’t set a plan of action that focuses on capitalising on the strengths we do have. For those of with a habit of “beating ourselves up” over resolutions that didn’t turn out as planned, this can weigh on us to the point where we may want to throw in the towel.
For some of us who did set new years resolutions; come February, the casual resolutions thrown about over Christmas drinks have either been forgotten, or are already starting to look too difficult.
So are New years resolutions worth doing? Is there a better way of doing it to the way you are doing it now? Absolutely.
Give the following tips a try:
-Set goals using the S.M.A.R.T. approach (see previous posts).
– Avoid massive changes. Instead, celebrate smaller wins toward small goals. The science says it’s far more likely to work for you – and it’s definitely not too late to start.
– Do it gradually. You’re far more likely to have success if you do it in little chunks.
For instance, if you want to cut down on junk food, and total abstinence hasn’t worked in the past, remember that you don’t need to do it all at once. Instead, try not having junk food for one meal a week, then every third meal, and so on. You’re more likely to have success if you do it in little chunks.
-Forgive yourself, because willpower will always ebb and flow. Use the moments when you’re feeling resolved to prepare for the times when you might falter.
-Set your life to minimise temptation. Put on your gym gear the night before, slice up fruit and placing it at the front of the fridge. Remember that if we order the super-size popcorn at the cinema, we will eat it.
-If necessary, make fewer resolutions in the first couple of weeks to allow yourself to really focus on what you want to accomplish.
And remember – if you have “fallen off the horse” already, don’t be too critical of yourself. Setbacks are part of the process. Just remember to get back on the horse.
If you would like some personal assistance with setting goals, or if something keeps on blocking you, a personal consultation with a a qualified professional could help. During February 2016 Psycoaching is offering skype consultations at less than half the normal rate.
What are your thoughts on new years resolutions? Let us know in the comments below.