It’s a topic of conversation that’s hard to avoid this week. The dreaded ” have you got any new year’s resolutions?” echoes throughout homes, bars and other social hangouts the world over. Losing weight, being healthier and becoming a more positive-self are the usual ones to report while unpredictable “I want to quit my job and make cupcakes in Mexico” type goals will pop up in random social circles.
As I sat in a pub Saturday night, my dear friend and I could’ve predicted what each of us were going to say – positivity with a dash of healthy eating and traveling somewhere special always does sound amazing.
For me, most of my resolutions are extensions of habits I’ve been changing since late 2014 so, (sorry) friends, you’ve heard them before. Only now, I know how to make them work and more importantly – that taking too many changes on at the same time will breed failure.
According to Tony Robbins (my hero), the annual day people give up on new year’s changes is January 15th. By then, the gyms will have emptied a bit, fridges won’t be quite so healthy and the dregs of enthusiasm will be lagging behind us.
Tony isn’t pointing this out in order to rain on anyone’s parade by the way, and neither am I.
The point is that knowledge is power.
Learning what could go wrong is necessary and, allows effective and more calculated decision making.
Here are some factors that have worked for me over the years and in particular as I made significant changes in 2014:
* Don’t make too many changes at the same time. If you make one lifestyle alteration, you’re 70% likely to succeed. If you make two, you’re 80% likely to fail. Our brains need to focus. Activate one resolution and, after 30 days of success with the first, start the second. This has worked well for me when it came to diet and exercise in particular.
* Figure out your priorities and be honest. Perhaps you’re torn between what will make you happy and what will potentially benefit your career? Or you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of time you’ve got or not got, as the case may be. Choose for yourself and schedule the other objectives for later on.
* Give yourself a break. So you’re on a diet and had a burger when you went out? That’s not a reason to throw in the towel. Dust yourself off and try again.
* Cut out the background chatter. Your friends, family and that annoying woman in the corner shop might have all the resolutions in the world, or do they? It makes way more sense to drown out their stuff and focus on your own.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be making more changes (not just for new year but for life). Keep an eye on my posts and be sure to share how it’s going for you.