This year, before you make your New Year’s Resolutions,
make sure you ask the Big W’s.
In 2019, according to the US News and World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s Resolutions was about 80% by Mid-February. Therefore, it is probably safe to assume, that for a good part of 2019 the rate of people beating themselves up as a consequence of that failure, was about the same.
The prospect of 2020 is indeed an exciting one…it is both a new year and a new decade. A wonderful time for a whole new you. But don’t attempt changes without real preparation.
5 Big W’s to achieve your New Year’s Resolution in 2020
What are your New Year’s Resolutions or goals? Be really clear about them. Write out your resolutions like they have already happened. Make your goal a real vision. Take time to imagine it …sitting at the desk in your dream job, that yoga pose, holding that exam paper, wearing that perfect outfit, exercising at the gym with that perfect body. Bring in as much detail as possible to your picture, use all your senses, think about your vision regularly.
Try to only use positive words when you make a goal or resolution. For example many people will say they want to “go on a diet” or “lose weight” these have very negative connotations and the mind will focus on the feeling of “missing out” and therefore trying to achieve lasting change will feel like an uphill struggle. An alternative might be to say “I want to eat healthier” ”look better in my clothes”,” feel fitter”.
Why do you really want your New Year’s resolution to be successful? How will you feel? What changes will it bring to your life? What payoffs? Write out a list of your incentives. Are all the reasons that you can think of, really your reasons? (not someone else’s) It is important to make yourself feel good. Someone else’s happiness is not a good incentive to change your behaviour (although it may be a by-product).
Many people run into trouble when they have not fully examined the reasons why they want to achieve a goal or a New Year’s Resolution. They just know that everyone wants to lose pounds, get fitter, drink less and quit smoking and so they join in. Sometimes we can think that we are doing things for ourselves, but it is the expectation of others like our spouses, our bosses or the media who is making us believe that we will be more lovable or acceptable if we live up to someone else’s expectation. So my tip here is: don’t change anything for anyone but you!
Set a time frame for your resolution. There might be several smaller goals within the larger one. It is always good to break things down into bite size pieces. This has the advantage of letting your mind know that your goal really is achievable. There is also the added incentive of being able to pat yourself on the back when you have passed each milestone along the way. Also, think about how to handle things When you hit a road block. And it is not if but when.
Everybody meets some barriers somewhere along the road to success. Knowing that it is perfectly natural to have blips and setbacks along the way will help you to anticipate that it is not always going to be a smooth ride. The main thing is not to beat yourself up, and then look for comfort in the very behaviours that you were trying to avoid. Yes we have all done it! It does just prove that you are human. But this time, let it be different. If you have a ‘wobble’ remember that it is not enough to knock you off course. Go back to your vision, make it stronger than ever, get extra support and then journey on!
Where will you find the time and energy that these new changes require? Do you need to find time to add new activities to your schedule? Remember the vision, the incentives and the payoffs and any sacrifice of time or energy will surely be a great investment. Perhaps the changes you want to make require more physical and mental energy?
The great thing is that as you adopt healthier habits other areas of your life will reap the dividends. For example, joining the yoga class or time spent making smoothies or juicing might seem like a time sacrifice and take lots of effort but you will gain so much energy in improved fitness, peace of mind and good health that your energy levels are likely to rocket. As you make positive changes in one area of your life you will find that it has a knock on effect to other areas. You will become more incentivised as you note these general improvements.
Who will support you with these marvellous endeavours? It is so important to realise that you cannot make changes in your lifestyle all on your own. We all need help and you are no different! So, look around your current life and see who you would put on your “dream team”. Who are the people who inspire you? Keep you going? Encourage you when you feel like giving up? Whether its family, friends or professionals most of us have people in our lives who are particularly encouraging when we need it. These are the people we must value, share our goals with and call upon when things get tough.
Sometimes it helps to ask them to make us accountable for our actions. Many people can feel a bit embarrassed sharing goals with others. They might feel that their goal is not big enough or that they might be judged. There will always be people somewhere who will understand and seek to encourage you no matter what your goal or New Year’s resolution is. If it is important to you, then it is of value. If you don’t find that you have the right people in your life for this support, then it might be a good time to seek some professional help like a life coach or sports coach.
So whether you see the New Year in with or without resolutions you have done well to give some thought to the Big W’s. Change only for you and get support, you’ll need it. If you can manage that then chances are you won’t be in the 80% this year!
If you are struggling to answer any of the W questions above, then the chances are it is not the right time for you to make resolutions. Don’t worry the year is long. Give yourself some more time and find some more support; if your ‘Ws’ are strong enough you will succeed. May the year ahead bring you all Peace, Health, Happiness and Success.