Successfully Stepping Into The New Year
Remember the famous quote, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint,” so go slow and pace yourself? Well, consider for a moment that finding success in achieving your New Year’s resolutions should take on a similar strategy. With so many people setting out to find solutions to the things they would like to start doing, or stop doing, why does it seem as though more and more people are failing to maintain their goals after January 1, or not setting them at all? Take the next moment, sit back, and ask yourself if you are totally annoyed and frustrated by a history of failed resolutions, or feeling stuck in how to create longer lasting change?
Your first step is take a deep breath and think that it is usually not the problem (or resolution) that’s the problem, but the way (or HOW) you are attempting to find solution that’s keeping you stuck!
Your second step is to stop just visualizing / thinking about what you want to change and write out one (JUST ONE) small, concrete, and attainable goal. For example, “I want to go to the gym 5 days a week” and “I want to spend all of my free time with my kids” sounds really nice, but it is unrealistic and most likely unattainable. Your goal needs to be specific and realistic enough to have space for success. Even more, when you set too many competing goals simultaneously, your motivation to take a step forward will vaporize and sadly fade away. Instead, shoot for a more reasonable and realistic resolution (with options) to head to the gym / jog / yoga class two days a week, or sit down with your kids and set a family goal to spend two nights a week for one hour having game night / cooking dinner together. The former goals are too vague and filled with pressure while the latter are more flexible and possible. And, even better, you are allowed to slip back one step and not be perfect with your goal, especially if were already two steps ahead.
Our expectations of ourselves and of others are critical and too often times people set unrealistic goals, or have unrealistic expectations. This usually leads to feelings of disappointment and even devastation when we don’t achieve or get what we want or need. The solution is to modify what you expect and to be realistic, which allows for more flexibility and the possibility that you will actual DO what you set out to do.