Well friends, it has been about a week since the new year found its way here. We’ve officially wiped the ole slate clean, started fresh, and taken the first steps toward our destination, the beautiful land of Change City.
Enter: the resolution.
As the first week of January passed, we were chock-full of motivation, plugging away at our big goal. But somewhere between now and the end of the month, stats show plenty of our resolutions will have bit the dust.
The thing is, change is uncomfortable. At times, it can downright suck. Many resolutions go right down the toity simply because people don’t create a kick butt plan to get them from square one to square ninja.
It’s like attempting to drive across town, to a place you’ve never been, with only an address and no map app. You know the general direction of where this place is, but after that, ya got nothin’. I’m willing to bet you’ll only wander aimlessly for so long before throwing in the towel.
So if you’ve resolved to become an even better version of yourself (…although you’re pretty frickin’ perfect as-is…), set yourself up for success right here and now with the following tips.
Details, Details, Details
1. Get Down to the Nitty Gritty
When initially deciding on your resolution, you want to be as specific as you can . For instance, instead of “I want to lose weight,” phrase it as, “By April 14th, I want to be 15 lbs. lighter for the beginning of my 14 day trip to Italy.” (BTW, this isn’t my resolution nor will I be whisked away to Italy for a 2 week food fest. Uh, fun fest. I meant fun fest.)
By having a definite end point at which your goal is considered accomplished, you are able to keep your eye on the prize. It gives you direction. You know where you need to go, now it’s about planning the easiest route to your landing-place.
2. What’s Your Why
I feel this is one of the key components for following through on our resolutions. Knowing why you’re making the resolution will keep you motivated when the going gets tough.
Maybe you want to feel strong and confident in your swimming suit at your buddy’s annual pool party. The same pool party your ex will be attending. Yikes.
That’s enough to throw your motivation into overdrive. For sure.
If you’re realizing your original “why” doesn’t rev you up as much as it should, time to bring plan B on board. Plan B might be something along the lines of committing to an event such as a race. Next, shape your scenario so backing out is not an option.
How exactly will you do that?
By golly, you find yourself a buddy willing to commit to the training regimen as well as doing the event with you! As you know, exercise buddies hold you accountable by getting you to show up for your workout when you’d rather take a couple karate chops to the neck.
Another idea would be to register for an event held in another city, then buy the plane tickets immediately after entering. For me, I’m much less likely to back out when my money’s involved.
Mapping It Out
3. Make Your Resolution Doable
This one’s short and sweet since I’m pretty sure you’re all familiar with it already. It bears repeating though as it’s super critical for success.
Two words: Realistic resolutions, people.
Ok, that was three…
Now before you go off making some pansy resolution like singing the alphabet everyday for a month, I’m not saying you shouldn’t challenge yourself. I am, however, suggesting you set goals that are, you know, actually possible. Or at least possible for YOU.
If you make a resolution to get to the gym 6 days a week starting January 1st, yet you haven’t been to the gym once in over 6 months, you might be in a little over your head.
Instead, put a plan in place (see #4!) where you work your way up to 6 days with the intention of reaching your goal by a particular date. Not only will this help to prevent exercise burnout, but you’ll also have a much better chance at succeeding! Booya!
4. Break Your Resolution Down Into Several Smaller Goals
I consider this to be another key to successful resolutionists. Take that big dawg of a resolution you made and break it down into small lil puppy goals. From here, take those puppy goals and see if you can break those down. We’ll call this group fetus goals!
Still with me?
Now see if you can continue to break ‘em down until each goal is so tiny they’re hardly any work at all. Once you have these written out, take a step back and admire your work. Ahhhhhh.
In your hands you hold the step by step guide to following through on your resolution! At this point, all you need to do is follow the guide. Check out the no-frills chart I started below (and when I say no-frills, I really mean it looks like a preschooler made it). This is a terrific method when trying to break goals down into doable steps.
5. Identify Your Weak Spots Ahead of Time
Take a sec and think back to other times you were working toward a goal. Did you run into any triggers that steered you off course?
If so, ask yourself the following questions:
- What was your response to the trigger and why?
- How did it affect you after the fact?
- How did it impact your goal?
Once you’ve recognized your main triggers, establish mini action plans for each one to help you successfully deal with your resolution wreckers.
Let me explain. If one is trying to make healthier food choices, but regularly eats takeout or fast food due to having zero food at home, their options for eating healthier can be slim pickings.
It’s pretty safe to say the trigger here would be the lack of food on hand to make healthy choices with. This solution is simple. Regularly going to the grocery store.
To help you get into the habit of grocery shopping, I recommend hitting up the store one hour, one day a week and make it a standing arrangement. Setting aside the same day and time each week (ex: every Thursday from 8-9 pm) helps to establish food shopping as part of your normal routine.
Thus, having a fridge stocked full of nutritiousness, saving you loads of calories and some moola.
6. Write It All Down
When you write out a resolution, it’s no longer just a dream, that sucker’s a goal! You’re breathing life into what you want to accomplish.
A study conducted by Dominican University of California professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, found that when a person writes their goals down, on average, they’re 27% more likely to achieve them, as opposed to those who just thought about their goals.
Ok, I admit it’s not the most impressive statistic ever recorded, but it does go to show when writing our goals down, the likelihood of achieving them increases.
With that being said, try to avoid jotting your resolution down and then calling it a day. Include the smaller goals/steps that will lead you to accomplishing the whole enchilada. Also, remember to write out the mini action plans you prepared for handling your most common triggers.
Keep those lips zipped when it comes to sharing the resolution you’re in the midst of crushing. As much as you might want to spread the word, just say no.
I know, I know, “But Katie, if I let people know about my resolution, I’ll feel more obligated to achieve it because I don’t want to look like a fool. Not only that, but wouldn’t I benefit from their support and encouragement?”
You make such good points! 😉
However Ted talker, Derek Sivers, makes a pretty solid argument stating otherwise. Studies dating all the way back to the 1930s conclude that people who tell others about their goals are less likely to reach them.
According to Sivers, “Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed.”
He goes on to say, “Once you’ve told people of your intentions, it gives you a ‘premature sense of completeness.’”
Well, look at that. Who’d a thunk it, huh?
So. Mum’s the word. You dig?
What resolutions are you making this year? Wait, wait, wait! You’re not supposed to tell me…Remember #7?
Do you have a tip that helps resolutions stick? Share them with me! Speaking of sharing, I’d love for you to share this post to help others follow through on their resolutions as well.
I Wanna Be Your Friend!
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