That Old New Year’s Resolution Chestnut

So it’s New Year’s Eve again.

Are you reflecting back on a wonderful year and hoping next year brings more of the same?

Or can you not wait to see the back of this one and think that the next couldn’t get any worse?

Whatever you’re current mindset January 1st can act as a signpost to new beginnings, a catalyst for change or a springboard into action.

Of course, in homes and workplaces across the land the hot question on everyone’s lips is “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?” and “How long do you think you’ll stick to them this year?”

The trouble with New Year’s Resolutions is that we feel we “should” make them and do it without too much thought.

New Year’s Resolutions usually fail because of a combination of reasons; we try to do too many resolutions at once.

We do too much too soon and run out of steam.

We try to change the toughest habits first.

Resolutions are often vague like “I’ll exercise!” – these types of resolutions come from thinking that we “should” make some.

Life gets in the way.

If you recognise these from New Year’s Resolutions past, that’s ok. Here is how to give yourself a better chance of change.

Focus on one change at a time, so that your attention and energy isn’t spread too thin.

Have a very specific plan with actions built in. What one small thing can you do every day to move towards your goal?

Start out really, really easily so it isn’t overwhelming or intimidating.

For example if you want to get fit, walk for 10 minutes a day rather than try and do 2 hours at the gym and build up gradually.

Give yourself 2 months to install the new habit.

We often give up on our resolutions because we don’t see results quickly enough.

Set your own expectations and mindset that if you consistently do small things for 2 months your new habit will be installed.

Once one habit is installed, move on to the next one.

If you stick with the method, you’ll do much better than you’ve done in the past with New Year’s Resolutions.

You’ll focus on creating long-lasting positive habits rather than trying to reach a short-term goal that fails.

You’ll maintain your enthusiasm for longer and not become overwhelmed by the difficulty of change.

You’ll have habits that will change your life, and that’s no small feat.

That Old New Year’s Resolution Chestnut - Mark Darlington

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