The Controversy of New Year Resolutions!

MLC___Resolution_by_caycowaThis year I have been struck by the number of articles around New Year Resolutions and why they don’t work.  I was actually very happy about this as I have been saying it for years!  So what is the Controversy of New Year Resolutions and how can you achieve your goals successfully?

Have you ever joined a gym in January and then noticed how empty it is in February – if you have actually managed to keep going that long? Or witnessed the pain of people trying to diet in January and either being overly worthy about the whole thing or bemoaning the pain they are suffering? So why don’t we stick to these ‘resolutions’?

The main reason is that trying to do anything positive in the darkest, wettest, coldest month of the year has to be akin to madness in the first place! Who wants to drag themselves out in the cold and rain to go running or to the gym when there is an option to stay at home in the warm!

But secondly, and more seriously, we fail to set the right type of resolutions.  So here are a few tips to making sure that you achieve your resolutions:

  1. Make it really, really, really appealing. Most of the resolutions that we set are around stopping doing something which automatically sets up feelings of frustration and deprivation.  Focus on the benefits of achieving something rather than the disbenefits of continuing to do what you have always done.
  2. Make it really compelling. Think about using a vision board – either the old fashioned method of cutting up inspirational quotations and pictures and sticking them on a board or, if you are more digital, how about using Pinterest?  Think about how it will feel when you achieve your goal, what you see around you, what you hear people saying about you.
  3. Make it SMART. We tend to make resolutions these huge and life changing things with no real understanding of what it looks like when we get there.  Think about the specifics and measurements. For example, I hear a lot of resolutions about losing weight – well if you lose one pound you have technically achieved it!  Instead think about how much you want to lose and by when. But most importantly make it realistic.
  4. Break it down. I have seen lots of people make resolutions which seem to be really inspiring and demonstrate big dreams, but then procrastination sets in and a lot of that is down to overwhelm – the goal is just too big. So break it down into manageable chunks.  What are you going to do today to move you towards your goal?
  5. Make yourself accountable. Tell someone about it! Or tell many people about it! Talk to your family and friends. Post it on Facebook if you must! Engage the people around you to support you and help you make it happen.
  6. When you do tell people about it ask for their help and explain what you are doing and why. How often have you sworn off alcohol or chocolate and a ‘friend’ offers you some and says ‘oh go on, one won’t hurt’? Get them on your side.

So by following these very simple tips you can turn your new year resolutions into reality.  But if you are stuck do get in touch – coaching and NLP techniques can really ensure that you get to where you want to go.


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