Resolving for change
It’s that time of year when we all make new year resolutions – maybe it’s to get into better shape, maybe financial discipline, maybe it’s to make a big life change like a new career path, committing to someone or something fully, or simply giving what we have our best shot. Whatever the change, the depressing fact is that unless we take some (thankfully simple) steps, our resolve is likely to waver after an initial burst of enthusiasm and apparently only 8% of people stick with New Year Resolutions for the whole year. “So why bother?” I hear you cry, while reaching for the 50% off mince pies. We bother because striving for better motivates us, and if we set ourselves up for success, makes us more committed, more confident, more resolved to be better humans.
Also if you want a horrifying realisation like the one I had nestled in my Happy New Year messages this morning, take a moment to calculate how many weeks you may have left to live.
Motivating, right? Once you’ve stopped hyperventilating? So lets go…
Setting up for success
Top tips for change:
- Aim: for something achievable to start with. You can always build on it long before the next new year (see the final bullet). In the meantime, we’re looking to build resolution muscle and self efficacy, so make it something that you’ll still be motivated enough to do by February…
- Delete: If you’re thinking about adding something to your day/routine/objectives, you need to think about what’s going to drop. We’re all tired, don’t add more to an already overwhelming to do list. Outsource a la Tim Ferriss, delegate either at work or at home, or simply stop doing things that aren’t contributing to the future you you’re aiming for. Like late night Netflix binges (sorry Netflix). Make time.
- Augment: conversely, if you’re quitting something, fill that void with something if you want to be successful, even if that something is more sleep, or a healthier distraction from whatever is being minimised to up your game.
- Cue: your environment for success, especially at the outset. Remove the notifications. Remove the chocolate. Remove the devices and the remote from the bedroom. Remove the people if they’re bad influences. Ruthless maybe, but necessary if you’re going to be future badass you.
- Buddy: up – someone to hold you accountable makes you 100% more likely to succeed. One. Hundred. Percent. Find someone who doesn’t mind being resented and loved at the same time. They’re your new bestie now.
- Relapse: prepare yourself for this. It will happen. We typically relapse up to nine times before a change takes hold. Do not doom spiral, do not tell yourself you’re useless, do not reach for the remote/wine/ice cream. You’re human, dust yourself off, get back on to the future you path.
- Iterate: finally, take stock every so often and reflect. Look back at what you’ve nailed (go you!!!), look back on where you’ve stumbled (re-cue), and consider whether the resolution is still working for you, or whether it’s time to evolve it…resolution is good, evolution is great.
Life is short. Until next time take care, stay safe and be kind
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