Clean slate, blank page, fresh start, new chapter.
It’s resolution time, and I love it!
The positive energy, the ambition and the anything-is-possibile vibe that comes with the new year is infectious, exciting and oh-so motivating.
Unfortunately, the January spark (i.e. motivation) you’re feeling right now tends to fizzles a little too quickly, which doesn’t leave much hope for sticking to resolutions.
So in the spirit of fizzling all year long, I’d like to address the one thing most people completely miss the mark on when it comes to setting resolutions that will keep them motivated.
But first, let’s go over resolution-setting as a 3 step process.
Step 1) What do you want to achieve?
Last January, an article in Time featured the top 10 commonly broken new year’s resolutions. Among them were:
1) Lose weight & get fit
2) Quit smoking
3) Learn something new
4) Eat healthier
5) Get out of debt & save money
What does this tell us? That deciding on WHAT we want to resolve, isn’t the problem. We all know, more or less, what we want to achieve. The problem is that for many people, the resolution-making process tends to stop here. It may be a great idea, but unless you take the process a step further, that’s all your resolution will ever be. A mere intention to do better. Let’s take it a little further.
Step 2) How will you get there?
Having a plan is the only way to turn your intention into reality. Otherwise, it’s just wishful thinking.
The HOW step breaks down the big goal into smaller, sizeable chunks, turning your resolution into something realistic, tangible and less overwhelming by telling us which steps to follow. Of course, there is a proper method for doing this the right way, or more precisely, in a smart way. Over on the weighty matters blog is a good reminder on how to set a SMART resolution.
And finally…. where we often miss the mark …
Step 3) Why is this important to you?
We miss the mark by not asking ourselves, or not reminding ourselves, why we’ve set the resolution in the first place.
You want to lose weight, why?
You want to get fit, why?
You want to quit smoking, why?
Don’t fall into the trap of making a resolution simply because you think you should or like the idea of it. If you want to follow through and are looking for a way to keep the fizzle going all year long, then you need to dig a little deeper.
Here’s what you do:
For each resolution or new year intention, come up with 3 or more reasons why this is important or how this change might benefit you.
Now, write your answers down.
This might sound simple but what’s actually happening is that you are uprooting your motivation. You’re putting into words your perceived benefit of changing. These are also your reasons why never to give up on your resolution or, conversely, why you should stick with it!
And so, by mid-februaruy, if you feel the fizzle fade, you refer back to your list for a motivational boost. And don’t be shy to add to the list as the months go by. You can never have to many reasons why.
Post the list on your fridge, in your food journal, as your desktop background, as a reminder on your phone.
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
In the spirit of getting you and other readers motivated too, I would love for you to share one of your resolutions and 3 reasons why, right here, in the comments section below this post. Even if you do it anonymously, it’s a great New Year exercise.
And to be fair, I will share one of mine!
One of my resolutions this year: to read more books for pleasure. I’m aiming for 2 books per month (as my realistic starting point), with only one being nutrition or health-related. (Forcing myself to step out of the box a little).
Why is this important to me? 1) Reading makes me unwind 2) I feel more creative during and after reading 3) I want to broaden my knowledge
Your turn! And while you’re at it, any book suggestions? Wishing you an abundance of health in 2013.
Photo credit: Ellenbloom