Two thousand and twelve. Yup, here we are over a week in to the New Year and I’m wondering how many of you made New Year’s Resolutions you are being committed and persistent about.
Statistics show that you are likely having challenges and if so, I can help. I’m here to provide a tip which may make this year one of your best ever for you in this area, especially if there are things you’d like to change. The reason I offer this, is because it is what I’m doing myself.
Step 1: Separate the message and the messenger
IMHO a New Year’s Resolution has a primary purpose of helping you turn over a new leaf, start afresh, shuffle the deck or raise the bar. It is about letting go of the old and brining in the new. The messenger is the New Year’s Resolution; the message is the change.
So my question to you is this: can you turn the tide or make a change in your life without using a New Year’s Resolution?
I think we can all agree that of course we can. So if we want to get the most out of the idea of a New Year’s Resolution, we need to succeed in the change, not the Resolution itself.
For most of us, keeping committed to something for a year such as exercise, healthy eating habits, reading more or learning a new skill, is a huge and almost incomprehensible challenge. As a result and with the associated pain or loss these activities usually generate, we tend to start off sprinting a marathon and understandably fail before we finish the first mile.
All I’m suggesting is that you implement the old adage about how to eat an elephant…. (one mouthful at a time) … and create shorter timeframes for our resolutions. Personally I feel that one month is a fair, yet still challenging period to start a new habit.
This year my aim is to tone my arms, improve my health, strengthen my abs and lose a bit of weight so I am doing one thing every day … at least 20 sit-ups and 20 press-ups. Since starting I have had to get out of bed only twice when I realised I hadn’t done them that day.
… and I have been pleased with myself and my progress so have also swum 60 lengths three times and been on two runs. The messenger is well on its way to succeed!
What you can do right now to stay committed?
- Decide to commit to something for a month.
- Select 1-3 activities in which to do this, more than four are strictly prohibited.
- Tell a few key people you care about and ask them to keep you accountable.
Ideally have a calendar or even better, an awesome way of recording your progress and mark off your achievements every day.
By doing this, you’ll be setting yourself up for success all year!
Step 3: Success breeds success
At the end of the month you’ll feel a certain sense of achievement so either carry on the habit, add a new one or simply feel proud of yourself for having achieved that resolution for a month. Ideally use it to catapult yourself forward in the areas you need it.
Check out my blog on the Four Disciplines of Execution for further understanding on how to effectively achieve more.
Good luck and I look forward to hearing your resolutions – I’d love to hear them below…