Don't give up just yet! Since February is the time when most of us start tossing our new year's resolutions aside, I thought this was the perfect occasion to break out my annual guide to building a resolution.
Admittedly, I'm not always a huge fan of making resolutions. First, I think change can happen at any time and on any day of the year. Second, I think resolutions are great when we create realistic and specific goals. But, resolutions are not so great when we only say "I am going to lose weight" or "I'm not going to be late this year". Without a specific plan of how we'll achieve the goal, the odds are we'll get discouraged, give up and say, "I'll try again next year". And, this can leave us feeling worse than before we started to make a change.
So, how can you build a better resolution? Try following these 5 steps.
1. What are you wanting for yourself?
Be as honest as possible. This answer will help build your resolution.
2. Write it down.
Be realistic and as specific as possible. For instance, instead of "I'm going to eat better", write "I'm going to eat better by eating 4 - 5 servings of vegetables each day." After you've written it out, post it in a place that you'll see it.
3. Be accountable.
Tell a supportive friend, family member, co-worker or a coach. Make sure it's someone who will keep you accountable.
4. Know that change can be scary and uncomfortable.
You know what your world is like with the status-quo. You don't know what it will be like when you begin to make changes. It's normal to feel a little uncomfortable and to have some fears but remind yourself that there's a reason that you want to make a change. Also, don't be surprised if some people don't want you to change or may feel a little uncomfortable. They may have their own fears that are popping up as the status-quo changes. Don't be afraid to talk about this and find solutions.
5. It's ok to fail.
Yup, failure is often part of success. In fact, often when we don't achieve our goal, we often learn the most about how to succeed in the future.
The key is to learn from it. Ask yourself some key questions: Was the goal unrealistic? Are there thoughts in my head that are sabotaging my efforts? If so, how can I rephrase them? Did I slip-up once and then give up entirely? Did circumstances change from when I originally created my resolution?
Once you've learned what you can from the failure, let the failure go and simply try again with your revised goal.
That's it. Those are your 5 steps to building a resolution. Now there is one last step, get excited! As you let go of some your old habits, get excited about how your world may open up in ways you may never have imagined.
I'm wishing you success in all of your resolutions and a happy and healthy new year!