Ditch New Years Resolutions! Our 6 Top Tips To Help You Make A Change At Any Time And Achieve Your G
How are you ever realistically meant to achieve new years resolutions when the world already expects, and justifies, your imminent failure?
Imposing strict regimes immediately after the splurge of a happy, busy Christmas with more time off work than you’re normally used to? Already a bad decision. To fail is deemed an integral part of the resolution process. Perhaps this failure is imminent because people are timing and tackling change incorrectly?
Here are our 6 top tips to help you make a change at any time and achieve your goals:
1. “New year, new me” nonsense Resolutions are more commonly known as goals; and goals can be made at any time in the year. A goal is most successful at an obvious milestone or when there’s a natural starting point in your life. Honesty and fore-planning are far more useful than unnecessary self-punishment for not playing your part in the traditional “new year, new me” timeframes.
2. Commit to the change If you don’t really want to change deep down, then it simply won’t happen. Willingness to put in the effort or commitment is important – willpower can only go so far before it gives out, but it will get you at least some of the way before it does.
3. Plan, plan, plan! Give deep and meaningful thought to what you want to achieve. Goals can normally be flippant, idealistic and unspecific, especially when what you’ve decided upon isn’t in any way policed or enforced. Goals must include markers, the timeframe that’s available and how you intend to complete the goal. Focussing instead on the rules rather than the outcome transforms the goal into a series of mini processes. Measure, and enjoy, your accomplishments!
4. Ask yourself “why?” Why do you do what you are trying to stop? Have you failed trying to complete the goal before? People forget that goals can rely on changing behaviour – getting a baseline of your current behaviour is key. There is no real thing as a fresh start, only a fresh way of thinking: don’t forget your past, embrace it.
5. Ditch the quick-fix Expecting an immediate change? It’s not possible. A habit takes around 21 days to be made but it will always include a few steps forward and a few steps back. Nothing ever happens without hard work, and creating sustainable behaviours simply just takes time.
6. Don’t get too optimistic Too much optimism about reaching a goal can hinder actually doing it. Just by acknowledging a change you plan to make or visualizing your success can potentially harvest feelings of accomplishment, which in turn leads to relaxation, lower blood pressure and less energy. Mental contrasting is the way to stay optimistic whilst realistic. Imagine the obstacles, check points and hard work that needs to happen whilst you imagine the final outcome, and accept that, occasionally, you may falter.
Tackling change in the ways we’ve described can really make a positive impact on the chances of success. Taking time to plan and to commit to the goals in an analytical, questioning manner helps to create markers. Each completed marker will slowly chip away at the end goal and feelings of accomplishment will occur much more often; as a result your willpower will take much longer to wane. Failure is often a part of the goal process but when you complete goals in bitesize chunks over time, these falters along the way will not seem so drastic. The main goal is still, and will remain, attainable. So, the time is now… or next week… or maybe even next month! Share with us what changes you are making to your life and how you plan to go about them.