It’s a New Year - it doesn’t have to be a whole new you! ( Or staying focused on your real goals)
It’s the time of year when we have all made those NY resolutions - lose weight , eat healthy , go jogging , keep a diary , meditate , stop smoking - the list can be endless.
It’s also the time of year when actually people find it most difficult to keep to their goals - but is this ? Why is it that 1st week of Jan we are all ’ my body is a temple - my mind is sacred space of learning ’ and first week of February you are sitting in your new yoga trousers - eating chocolate hobnobs and watching EastEnders ..
The good news is that you can avoid this - you can find ways to keep on track, however this might mean addressing your goals in a slightly different way. This skills sheet gives you some great hints and tips that will be keep you focused and help you be super successful in achieving them.
4 Pressure Points To Set Yourself Up To Fail.
Firstly one of the main reasons people don’t keep to their resolutions - is that they don’t really want to. We can all fall into the trap of setting targets and goals because we feel we should and it’s what everyone else is doing. ( don’t get me started on ’ clean eating!’)
Secondly we then put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make big differences- this makes seem harder than ever to make those life changes and we tend to use guilt as way of judging how well we are or aren’t doing. We obsess on each and every detail of what we have and have not done.
Thirdly we tend to phrase things in ways which make us think about what we are giving up or denying ourselves - rather than on what we will gain from this work.’ I am cutting out carbs’.
Finally we tell loads of people what we plan to do and go through some big rituals to get started on a very specific day. We remove all those ’ wrong food’ - we de-clutter , we buy new outfits and we post on social media about how it’s dry January for us. - now it’s absolutely a ’ Thing!’.
So Step Back , Take a breath and ...Take Control
Before you embark on your NY changes consider the following points which could put you on the road to success.
1. Think about what you want on a long term basis ( and pick just one or two key things rather than an entire list) :
- Where does this goal fit into your life outside of the January madness ?
- Where do you want to be in March , in July and at the end of the year?
- Importantly does this goal actually fit into my wanted life - is this really what you want to do and why do you want to do this? -
Remember if you are doing this because everyone else seems to be doing it and it’s the in thing, you might want to spend your valuable time on something that will benefit you - because by the time your review in March comes the fad will have moved onto something else….
2. Set yourself realistic challenges and look to phrase them in positive ways.
Instead of saying ’ I am going to diet ’ say ’ I am going to treat myself to healthy foods or ’ I am going to learn to cook amazing meals’ - the emphasise is then on what’s in it for you rather than what you are giving up.
If you want to set a target try to avoid numbers based targets - so again on the theme of health and fitness rather than saying - ’ I need to lose 2 stone in weight’ you could say ’ I plan to look amazing in my favourite dress’
When you do this your brain looks to the positive thoughts it has about the outcome and you actually give yourself subconscious motivation to keep going. Our brain is actually a real rebel - I highly suggest you read Dr Steve Peters -The Chimp Paradox to see just how the chimp in your mind can look to de-rail you rather than be your best friend.
3. Really think about making changes part of your life, rather than it being a thing which starts on a set date - I also suggest avoid using 1st January as your kick off time .. How about just doing it for yourself as well rather than announcing it?- that way if you have a glitch you don’t need to worry about being found out or feeling guilty - you can just get right back on the horse and keep going.
Of course some people like the support of others but for others it can become a pressure point. There is also the danger that you join in the conversations of others who are falling off their own wagon and being sociable animals it can seem difficult to be open about your success when others are having problems.
4. Plan your own rewards- these can be really small things.
A great tip I had when studying for my uni course was to tape a sweet treat at the page I wanted to reach. This gave me the drive to get my reading done and then take my scheduled break and enjoy something
At the end of the day if you truly want to make changes - you will - and the only reason for not trying something is because you don’t want to.
Whatever your resolution is I wish you all the health and happiness for the year to come.
Be .. Fabulous !