So, if you’re like most people you’ve probably talked about resolutions on New Year’s Eve and in the days afterwards. Also, like most people you’ve probably already started to struggle to keep them up. Or maybe you’re in the other camp – because you know they don’t work for people, you don’t bother setting any at all.
Neither option is very satisfactory, because you know there’s stuff you want to change or achieve, but you don’t want to waste time (and get your hopes up) if it’s not going to work out.
In this blog post I’m going to reveal the reasons why resolutions don’t work and my 3 easy steps to finally set yourself up for success. This is the same system that I teach in a lot more depth on my 7 Days To Tame Your To-Do List online programme. If you want this year to be different, to get the life you really want, you’ll want to be part of this FREE training.
Why Resolutions Don’t Work
First of all, the main reason resolutions don’t tend to work is that they’re usually about changing something you don’t really want to change, or at least you don’t want to do the work required to get it. For example, one of the most common resolutions is to get healthy by losing weight, going to the gym, or both. The thing is though, if you really wanted to do what it takes to achieve those things, you’d have done them already!
Another reason resolutions don’t work is that they are just too wishy-washy. ‘I want to lose weight’ could mean you want to lose 7lbs or 7 stones! How would you ever know if you’d achieved it without being specific?
Finally, resolutions are focused on the end result you’re after rather than the consistent changes it will take to get that result. Once the excitement and optimism of the new year has died down, resolutions lose their juice and you’re just left with a result that seems too far away. You start to have thoughts about letting it go for just one day, after all you’ve been so good, you deserve a treat or a day off from the gym don’t you? The next day it’s even harder to make yourself toe the line and pretty soon the resolution is dead in the water – then you’re left paying for a gym membership you’re not using and a slimming club you cheat on. Who wants that?
What’s The Answer?
The new year is still a good time to look to the coming year and make some plans and there really is a boost of enthusiasm and motivation when you have that whole blank slate ahead of you, so let’s make better use of it this time.
Here are my 3 steps to making some resolutions that really work for you and get you dancing your way to the finish line and beyond!
Step 1 – What Do You Want?
Great, now sticking with the getting healthy example, outline exactly what that means for you in terms of the dress-size you realistically want to aim for – make sure you write down when you want to get there by. Thinking about being more active, how many times a week will you exercise? How will you measure your progress in terms of being fitter? Perhaps your gym does a fitness audit, or if you don’t like gyms, how about building up the number of minutes you walk or steps you take each day? Write it all down in your notepad.
For more tips, shortcuts and advice on how to do this, sign up for 7 Days To Tame Your To-Do List.
Make sure you are so specific that there could be no doubt about whether or not you’d achieved what you set out to. Now you have some goals that will be 100% more effective than the usual ‘I want to be healthier’ rubbish.
Step 2 – Why Do You Want It?
Right, now we’re juice up your goals so that you will stick with them even when you lose your initial enthusiasm. You know that at the start of doing something different you feel really motivated and excited, but after a few days that starts to wear off. This is perfectly natural and you know it happens, but for some reason you still hope it will be different this time. If only you could stick with it through those harder times, pretty soon you’d have a new habit that is easier to do than it is to give it a miss, and you’d be on the home straight.
Here’s how you get through the tough stages that occur before you get to the point of an ingrained habit. Pick one of your goals and ask yourself why you want it. With the dress-size goal, it might be ‘So I can look nice.’ That’s a good start, but not very exciting and won’t get your juices flowing, so now answer this – what will that bring you? You’ll get a slightly deeper, more meaningful answer. Keep asking yourself ‘What will that bring me?’ until you’ve got something that get’s you really excited and motivated. Make sure you write it in your notepad.
Step 3 – How Will You Get There?
Now for the bit that gets it done. You’re going to identify some actions and behaviours that will take you closer to your goal. To get to a smaller dress-size, there are certain things that probably need to happen:
- Change something about what you eat, when you eat or how you eat (I’m no dietitian so no advice on this from me, but I do recommend Dawn Swinley – here’s her website)
- Say no to non-stop treats
- Move more
- Take a packed lunch to work rather than eating out
- Adjust your mindset around deprivation vs choice, by which I mean saying ‘I’m choosing not to drink wine in the week’ instead of ‘I can’t have any wine, I’m on a health kick’
- Set yourself up for success eg keeping your favourite treat food out of sight and hard to reach!
Make a list of your own change enablers for each goal now – you may want to brainstorm with a friend if you get stuck for ideas.
One way that works for me is to put up sticky notes in strategic places, like ‘Make packed lunch for tomorrow’ on the fridge door. You could set reminders on your phone or computer. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just find something that works for you. I talk more about how to make your brain work for you in my e-course. If you want to learn the shortcuts that make creating change almost effortless you should definitely check it out.
You can get more information about the 7 Days To Tame Your To-Do List programme and find out if it’s right for you here.
Now You’re On Your Way!
Every day, rather than thinking about the end result you’re working towards, focus on sticking with the actions and behaviours that you’ve identified and reward yourself for doing them. You will find this is way more effective than boring old resolutions and you’ll be on your way to what you really want all the sooner and with the utmost ease.
If there’s ever a time when you try to talk yourself out of doing one of your actions, just remember why you’re doing it. You have a compelling reason and it’s worth doing, so keep on trucking and feel the boost to your self-esteem as a result. Go you!
Want A Shortcut?
The key to getting the life you really want is mastering your psychology and putting methods that WORK in place to support you. You’ve got the building blocks of exactly that right here and if you put them into practice you will be moving towards your dream life before you know it.
The trouble is, now you’ve read this, it’s easy for you to say “that was good” and then move onto the next article. That’s why I put together my online programme, to support you on your first steps and get you moving more quickly and easily.
If you want a shortcut so that you can stop feeling overwhelmed, get clear about what you want, use your brain like a pro and tame your to-do list quicker than ever before, you’ll want to check out 7 Days To Tame Your To-Do List – it’s FREE and you’ll get daily support straight to your inbox. Click on the link now!
Find out more about how I empower my clients to set and achieve goals like these: check out my website The Feel Good Coach. For even more value click here to get monthly feel good updates right in your inbox. In return you will receive my gift to you, my ebook ‘5 Steps To Meditation For People Who Can’t Meditate!’
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Until next time…