A New Year is starting and together with it comes a time of making new resolutions. Have you ever found that despite your initial enthusiasm you did not stick to the resolutions? Or is it more a case that you don’t make resolutions even though you really would like to start the New Year a little differently? I have never been too keen on the concept of resolutions where we all join in with the fad and suddenly try to be responsible and diligent for at least a little while. I know only too well how difficult it is to keep up the discipline and work on oneself all year round. However, coaching has taught me a lot about the fulfillment of wishes and targets and I have found myself that regular small steps towards dreams are definitely worthwhile.
If you are not keen on the notion of another wasted resolution, but wish to actively build on your life, I have12 pieces of advice regarding what to avoid and vice versa what to focus on – on your journey toward your targets.
1. Defining priorities Before hurtling headlong into New Year’s resolutions, have a good think about your priorities and needs. What is of key importance for you and your life? What would you like to change or improve? If there are more of such areas, which one would also influence the improvement of the others? Which of them do you fancy working on? Don’t cheat yourself with pointless resolutions, throw yourself into an area, which will be of real importance to you, don’t address only the “safe” issues.
2. Do you know where you are heading? Have you decided to lose some weight? You can be involved in the slimming game for ever and still not be satisfied. So give yourself enough time to set a target. Imagine what you want to achieve, what your life will actually look like once you’ve achieved it, what will change? When talking about slimming – is it kilos that you wish to shed or just fit into a smaller size of trousers? Until you know how far off the finishing line is, it will be difficult to know how to manage your effort and you will find it much easier to give up.
3. What if I don’t feel like it? Have you decided to start going to the gym or learn to make a new cake, because “it would be good to do” and you feel that it is somewhat expected of you? In such a case, think hard about what such an endeavor will bring specifically to you. Is it really your goal to go to a gym or to feel attractive, regardless of the means employed to achieve this feeling? Don’t fulfill the wishes of someone else, concentrate on your own.
4. Golem’s shem Don’t be satisfied with just dreaming; breathe some life into your vision. Find a notepad which you will feel comfy writing in all year round. Get a notice board from the cupboard or make a new folder with targets in your PC. In the spirit of the saying – “Words come and go, only the written word remains”, write down your target or you can express it in a collage with pictures and words that will depict the desired target as best as possible. The next steps need to be documented at least in writing. Merely reading an article will bring about no changes at all.
5. The day of victory
Even if you don’t want to overexert yourself, commit yourself to a deadline by which you aim to achieve your target. Choose a realistic time period that will be motivational but will include some leeway for days when you won’t be able to work on your goal. A clear idea of the time span will assist you in planning and motivation boosting.
6. An elephant on the horizon If it looks like a long-drawn out process, will the mere thought of it blow away your initial enthusiasm? Don’t let your mind daunt you. Look at it like this - is it possible for a man to eat an elephant? Yes, it is, but only if he carves it into pieces. To begin with, focus on the first step, but make sure you set a deadline for that too. 7. At the crossroads Only now can you proceed to the issue of how to achieve the sub-target. Give yourself a space to list all possible solutions and methods that will come into your head. Don’t be content with commonplace answers, you should explore all the possibilities. Choose the solution that will bring you the biggest enjoyment.
8. And what now? So the theory has been dealt with, but what about the actual action? Are you lacking in your desire to start it? How do you feel when you imagine your goal? If you don’t feel good, you will have to adapt it. In addition, you need to come up with a reward for the fulfillment of the first sub-target and the follow-up goals. Make sure to spoil yourself, you definitely deserve it.
9. Underdog Do you feel like your plan is perfect, but…there is something missing that stops you from putting it into practice, you will have to wait until…. you will never manage it without the help of this or that guy and …? Stop right there! Your primeval brain has just woken up and pressed the emergency button of fear and excuses. You definitely don’t need this. Get a grip and come to your senses again! Cast your mind back – throughout your life you must have overcome similar sorts of things. What or who helped you then? How could you avoid obstacles? How can you draw on your experience? What do you need to be able to start? Use your wits to fight fear and excuses.
10. Too hard a task
Weren’t you successful in meeting your very first goal? It doesn’t matter, learn how to plan and estimate your potentials better. Praise yourself for everything you have managed so far and plan the next step to be somewhat easier. You will see that as soon as you move a little on your path towards your goal, you’ll be managing some steps faster than you have imagined. Train your diligence. 11. No pain, no gain It’s like this – if you want to change something, you will have to do something to achieve it. Now, when you already have a plan and know what specific enjoyable activities will take you to your target, get on with it. Make sure that today you do at least one of your activities for your new resolution. Schedule your plan in the calendar, arrange the necessary meeting or do something else to prepare the ground for tomorrow’s steps. 12. Teddy-bear We are only people. To err and doubt is human. On that account you should prepare an aid for yourself for those moments of hesitation, failure and despair. Write down a list of friends who will always back you up and stick by you. Prepare a play list of songs that motivate you or just make a small display of your personal successes.