A New Year – A new Me! Oh how often we say this only to find by the second week in January (if not the second day) all of those good intentions have fallen by the wayside and we feel fed up with ourselves – we have failed yet again.
Why does this happen?
A New Year Resolution is no different than any other change we decide to make. All resolutions are goals that have to be worked at. They will not come about by our passively wishing or hoping – we need to take Action!
For any change to have success it needs all the basic ingredients to make it work. These include planning, deciding and then following through the decision with actions.
So, how can we ensure success?
- Decide what you want to change, alter or bring to your experience. It probably won’t be so much a case of deciding – you know already! Go out and buy yourself a notebook – make it a bright colour to cheer you along! What you need to do first is to refine what you want, write it down in the clearest terms and include a time-scale.
As an example lets us use a goal that is often set at New Year – “I want to lose weight.” Setting out your goal thus is not the best way for success. Okay so you want to lose weight, but how much? By when? Make things clear. You may then say “I will lose one stone by Easter.” This is clearer, but which Easter? One 5 years hence? Even better would be to say, “I will lose one stone by the 1st April (year)” or I will weigh xx on the (date).
- With your goal clearly set out, the next step is to decide whether it is actually realistic. Giving yourself a fortnight to lose that stone is not realistic however much you would love it to melt away in a wink! When your goal is clearly set out, and you`ve done a reality check, write it on the first page of your journal.It is useful to look at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats at this stage.
Strengths are things you are good at, for example willpower to resist chocolate. Weaknesses are the opposite – you can resist chocolate but not cake – and you don’t like exercising much…
Opportunities are things that are available for you to take advantage of; for example walking to work instead of driving, joining that hiking group you`ve been thinking about for ages.
Threats are things that may halt your good intentions such as meeting up with friends in a coffee bar and being tempted into eating a gooey treat. Plan how to make the most of your opportunities and strengths and how to overcome those weaknesses and threats before you even begin to work toward your goal.
Be prepared to adjust and be flexible as you progress and new events appear. On the following pages of your journal you can write down your Strategies for Success.
- Elicit support. Join a slimming club or form one of your own! Tell those closest to you about your goal, and ask for their support and good wishes. Plan self-help too.
Some people find it helps them to hang an item of clothing that they want to look great in outside of the wardrobe in full view as a reminder of their goal. Others stick pictures of beautiful people on the fridge and larder doors! However wacky your self-help strategies may be, if they work for you then utilise them to the hilt – it’s the result not the methodology that matters here!
- Plan the `how to`. Decide on meal plans and make them nutritious, interesting and varied. Make them quick to prepare on busier days. Plan your exercise programme. Plan strategies for that time of day you always get the `munchies`. Be honest with yourself, do the research. Write the details in your Journal.
- Time for the important bit – Action! Set your start date and begin. No matter if the 1st January has now passed – you have used the time well with your detailed planning and forward thinking.
Use all of the tools in your toolbox and make sure your Journal is central. Write down each weekly weigh-day and your weight and watch it decrease! Keep a daily record of successes and not so goods – you can look back, and learn from this. Not so good days are not failures; they give you the opportunity to learn and adjust!
Re-read your journal at least once a week, and boost your resolve by dipping in when you feel like giving up. Your journal contains your success to date in word-form – use it!
Clarity, Realism, Support, Planning, ACTION is the way to success whatever your New Year Resolution may be. Finally – always remember you don’t have to save up the changes you wish to bring to your life until the start of a new year – if you notice anything you want to change then work on changing it NOW – don’t wait.
DESIblitz wishes all our readers a very Happy New Year and good luck with your resolutions!