It’s 3rd January and we’re already in the midst of the “new year, new you” mentality. How many of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions and feel like failures before we’ve even started?
Of course, logically we know that a single day can’t bring about the change we want; we are the same person on 1st January as we were on 31st December. Reportedly it takes 21 days to break a habit or form a new one, so it’s never going to be a quick fix.
So here are my top 7 tips for making sustained changes in 2019:
1. Take a whole year view
Think what you would like to achieve by the end of the year. Whether lifestyle and wellbeing or work goals, set yourself 5-8 goals.
“By the end of 2019 I would like to have achieved……….”
2. Review your goals
Look through your list and rate each one. On a scale of 1-10, how motivated are you to achieve them? Anything less than a 6, you’re probably not ready yet
3. Be realistic and long term in your goals
Think about your starting point; if you are just starting off in your career, it may be unrealistic to think you will be company CEO by the end of the year. If you have never exercised before, it may be unrealistic to set yourself a goal of running a marathon in April. But a training course or a 5K park run by June is probably realistic if you are motivated.
4. Commit your goals to paper and tell your friends and family
Get a little notebook and write down your goals for the year. Consider sharing these with close family or friends as they could offer you support and encouragement.
5. Make a plan and set progress targets and milestones
Like any good action-plan, set yourself milestones and review dates. If your goal is to do a 5K park run in June, you’ll probably want an exercise plan and a milestone of achieving 3K by April. There is no point beating yourself up for falling off the wagon, this won’t help, instead reward yourself for the achievements you do make.
6. Review regularly and at the end of the year
Review your goals on a regular basis, are you on track, do you need to make adjustments to your plans? At the end of the year go back to your original notebook and tick off your list of achievements. You can also add other things you managed to achieve in the year too, that weren’t on your original list. This can help you get a rounded, balanced view of the year and celebrate all the other spontaneous and great things you’ve done.
7. Consider coaching to support you through the change
If you’re serious about making big changes in your life, it can really help to talk through with a professional coach. Having regular coaching sessions throughout your period of change can also help to keep you focused and on track.