Saturday, January 10, 2015

You CAN Do It This Year

For most people, the New Year is a time of promise and hope. It is about starting over and getting it right. There is a ‘clean slate’ undercurrent that permeates people’s philosophies. It is one of those rare times when you see large numbers of people advocating a hopeful attitude and enthusiastic approach to change.

This is a time when many people set resolutions to implement some sort of positive adjustment in their lives. Some of the more popular ones include weight loss, better eating and exercise habits, financial goals, and improved attitudes. Unfortunately, by mid-January, a lot of those same people have either forgotten or are struggling to honor their targeted intentions.

As a result, these people get frustrated by their lack of progress and ‘beat themselves up’ or become depressed.

Rather than get down on yourself two-weeks into the year because you are hopelessly experiencing failure in your resolution attempts, make a decision to really commit to the process of change. Realize that in order to have different results, you must have a different approach.

In order to do this, you need to bring a new swag to your game.

Now, if you are one of those people who have already given up on your resolution, fear not. This is a new you, and the new you says, “You can always start over – even if it is not the first of the year.”
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you accomplish your deepest desire in 2015.

Create a clear goal that is easy to track

One of the main reasons people fail in their attempts to make positive change is because they don’t have a real clear goal in place. For instance, they might say, “I want to lose 50 pounds,” but that is too general.

In order to be successful, you need to have your resolution listed as a goal with a time-specific plan to accomplish it. Using the same weight goal, it might be better to word it this way: “I plan to lose one pound a week for the entire year.”

By breaking it down, it seems much more doable. After all, a pound a week is a manageable goal. Plus, you see the results right away.

Create a plan that is easy to follow

Once you have your goal, it is important to decide what supports you will put in place to assist you in the process. Identify what help is currently available and what help you will need to seek out. Develop a timeline as to when you will put these helpers in place.

For a weight loss resolution, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:

·         “Should I join a gym?” Or if you already have a membership, “How often should I go to the gym?”
·         “Should I consult a trainer to help me?” Many gyms have free trainers or very affordable fees associated with trainers.
·         “Should I consult a nutritionist or dietician to help me facilitate a permanent life-style change?”
·         “Should I join a group where I can feel supported and experience the benefits of accountability?”

Remember, it is important to identify what help is available to you, and target a schedule for implementing these supports.

Celebrate your successes

Design a method for tracking your progress. It can be as elaborate as a chart or graph that you attend to regularly or it can be as simple as a small spiral-bound notebook you keep in your purse, backpack or computer bag. Pick whichever way works best for you. 

When you hit a milestone on your journey, share the good news with family and friends. Don’t brag or use this as an opportunity to rest on your laurels. Instead, thank those who have been supporting you and share the next phase of your plan.

This doesn’t mean you become one of those annoying social media posters who air all their laundry. Rather, offer a few well-timed and sincere posts expressing enthusiasm and gratitude for your progress so far.

Remember, it is important to share your journey with others. By making your intention public, you add a layer of accountability to it. You also let the Universe know you are serious.