As we dive into the New Year, how are your resolutions shaping up?
If you’re human, you’re not alone in facing the challenge of turning resolutions into reality. According to Ohio State University, only 9% of Americans accomplish their resolutions, with a staggering 23% giving up within the first week. But fear not, because there’s a way to beat the odds and make meaningful changes that truly matter to you.
1. Timing Is Everything: Start by questioning whether this is the right time for the change you’re aiming for. Goals should align with moments of change or a genuine need for transformation in your life. Reflect on your aspirations and assess if this is the optimal time to embark on this journey.
2. Break It Down: Rather than setting overwhelming, all-encompassing goals, break them down into challenging yet achievable chunks. Celebrate small victories along the way, creating a positive feedback loop that keeps you motivated. For example, instead of aiming to lose 20 pounds, set a goal to lose 5 pounds by February 15. This way, you’ll continuously measure your progress and stay motivated for the next milestone. Check out our analysis of the book, The Gap and the Gain to understand how celebrating progress can actually get you to your goal faster.
3. Embrace Accountability: Research indicates that people who not only write down their goals but also establish a system of accountability are twice as likely to achieve them. Find an accountability buddy who shares your goals. Share your triumphs and challenges, turning the journey into a collective experience. The mutual support can be a powerful motivator.
4. Expect Obstacles: Obstacles are inevitable, especially when breaking habits. Identify potential triggers that might lead you astray and develop strategies in advance. For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight and overeating after dinner is part of your problem, consider what triggers this behavior and plan alternatives. Awareness and preparedness can help you navigate obstacles effectively.
Creating an “If Then” Plan
For those struggling with procrastination or consistency, an “If Then” plan can be a game-changer. This plan involves understanding your goal, identifying obstacles, developing strategies, and tracking victories. Let’s break it down:
1. Name Your Goal and Key Issue: Identify your goal and the main issue preventing you from achieving it. For example, if weight loss is the goal, your issue might be overeating after dinner.
2. Name Your Behavior Change: Specify the behavior you want to change. In this case, it’s the habit of eating after dinner.
3. Name Your Triggers: Identify triggers that lead to the undesired behavior. Does watching TV or scrolling through social media make you crave more food?
4. Name Your Avoidance Strategies: Develop strategies to avoid triggers or replace negative activities. Perhaps going for a post-dinner walk, maybe with you accountability buddy or allowing yourself a healthy snack after completing a set of push-ups might help you avoid over eating.
5. Name Your Victories and Celebrations: Keep track of your victories, no matter how small. Celebrate milestones with healthy rewards – maybe a movie night or treating yourself to a new pair of walking shoes after a successful week of not eating after dinner.
Armed with this “If Then” plan, you’ll be better equipped to handle challenges and stay on track with your resolutions. Remember, the key is to focus on what truly matters to you and to celebrate every step of the journey. As part of the Lifeshifter community, you have a support network to cheer you on. Here’s to a year of meaningful changes and successes!