For many, a new, shiny year is the perfect time to make changes in their life. We’ve all done it. Whether it’s to live a better life, change old habits or begin new ones. We promise ourselves we’ll eat healthier, get fitter or be happier. Or we make a pledge to get that dream start-up business idea off the ground. Perhaps we just want to declutter that spare room (guilty), or simply spend more time with family. New Year’s resolutions come in all shapes and sizes.
Yet no matter how admirable our intentions, all too often these resolutions last for a few months and then slowly disappear as our motivation and determination dip. Before long we’ve settled back into our old ways. That bag of kale you bought for your daily super-healthy smoothies begins to go off. And you’ve shelved your incredible business idea.
So what can you do to stick to your resolutions? We have a few tips.
1. Less is more
Lose weight. Move to the country. Adopt a rescue dog. Abseil down a building for charity. Get a tattoo. Start oil painting. Become a millionaire…
It’s easy to get carried away with long lists of how we can improve ourselves and our lives. But they can also be very daunting and soon you’ll realise that most of them aren’t achievable. To maintain focus, just stick to one goal (or two at the most). After all, you can always get that tattoo next year.
2. Keep your goal specific
“This year I’m going to get in shape.” Sound familiar? But what does that actually mean? Goals like that are far too vague. Try something specific and achievable. What about “This year I’m going to train for the local 10k run in July.” Not only is it focused but it’s also something you can aim for. And the result is that, yes, you’ll get in shape.
3. Take baby steps
The reason why so many people fail in their resolutions is that they try and enforce all the new changes on January 1st. Let’s say someone’s resolution is to eat healthier. They will clear out the fridge and cupboards and fill them with a hundred different superfoods, nuts and berries.
It’s too much, too soon. Start slowly. Replace some of the less healthy foods with more nutritious foods. Then a week or so later, replace something else in your diet. Gradual improvements mean you’re more likely to succeed.
It’s the same with your professional life. Yes, it would be great to think that you can launch a business and see a big profit in the first year, but it’s unlikely. Set your sights on getting a water tight business plan in place first, or a website nailed down. Small steps, big results.
4. Don’t do it alone
If any of your friends have similar resolutions to you, then consider a buddying up. A solid support system can see you both through the tough times. It’s a lot off fun and you’re more likely to stick to the goal if there’s someone else involved.
5. It’s all about the planning
Some resolutions, professional or personal, will result in big life and behavioural changes. A new job for example. Or moving home. These are things that may impact your family, and not things that should be rushed into. So it’s a good idea to put a lot of time into the planning. Brainstorm how you will tackle major projects, and make a detailed plan to help you stick to your goal, including establishing milestones to aim for during the year and highlighting any problems or challenges you might face.
Oh, one last thought…Remember, any habits or routines you’re hoping to change took years to develop. Don’t expect them to change overnight! So whatever resolutions you have in mind, good luck. And at the end of 2022 we hope you can look back and celebrate your progress and success!