Staying on track with your New Year's resolution (article on LinkedIn Jan 2017)
As we embark on the New Year, it seems like a ritual for many to make resolutions. How committed are you to make the changes?
As we embark on the New Year, it seems like a ritual for many to make resolutions. Are you genuinely committed to make the changes that will have a positive impact on your life?
We make resolutions of staying active, spend more time with the family, get rid of bad habits, eating healthy, have more fun or even a career change, it can sometimes be challenging tasks we set ourselves without a strategy or help. I watch the people in the gym every January. Almost every machine is being used and the exercise class is overcrowded beyond cozy. By February, you can start doing the down dog without being too close for comfort to your neighbour and you are finally able to do the roundhouse kick without kicking someone. After a few months, the numbers dwindle and finally it’s the regular faces you will see. For those who have been smokers, you will understand that you don’t just quit smoking without your body and the brain putting up a big fight.
Human are creatures of habits, we love our routines. To disrupt our routine and habits, it takes determination to rewire our brains. How would you convince yourself that it is worth the trouble? Here are some questions to get you started.
From a scale of 1 – 10, how committed are you to keep to the goal? If it is anything below 7, it might be a clue that you will probably not follow through.
How will this resolution improve your life?
Why is it important?
The next step is a few simple tips to start the momentum.
1) Create a schedule/routine that incorporates your goal like: use your calendar to plot days to go to the gym; have designated days of the month or the week to have a date night with your spouse, etc.
2) Create a list of why you are doing this. Every time you find excuses to dodge the new routine, ask yourself why you are committed to do this.
3) Write a commitment card or a screen saver that reminds you why you are committed. Your card will say something like:
I am committed to a healthy and smoke-free life to enjoy my life with my kids and family.
I stay calm and in control under stress.
I am committed to eating healthy food because my body is the temple of my soul.
4) Tell 3 people about your goal/resolution. When you declare your goal, it makes it real and more likely for you to honour it. It will be even more effective if you can have 1 of them to hold you accountable, that means checking up on your progress regularly.
5) Find a partner to carry out the goal together for mutual support. Quitting smoking together with a friend/spouse; find a gym/jogging partner. If you are losing focus or the challenge is too big, there are many affordable coaches specialised in certain areas to support you.
Have fun and I wish you every success with your resolutions!