7 Ways To Make Real Change In The New Year

Grandiose New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work!

Happy New Year! Have you made your New Years Resolutions yet? Most of us at least consider doing so. Here are 7 steps you can take to make real and meaningful change in the new year:

  1. Don’t make grandiose New Years resolutions. There is nothing like failure to discourage you and lead you to sabotage your effort to change. Don’t say you are going to loose 10 pounds a month. Don’t say you are going to go to the gym 7 days a week if you know you have a very busy life and that’s not likely to happen.
  2. Instead set realistic attainable goals for yourself. Make sure whatever goal you set is measurable and reasonable. Vague goals guarantee vague results. For example, if you want to loose weight set a reasonable goal, say 4 pounds per month for the next 12 months. Or commit to work out at the gym three times a week. It’s reasonable, attainable and measurable. Once you’ve set that goal tell at least 3 trusted people of your plan. This demonstrates your commitment to your goal and recruits support from those you trust.
  3. Set one goal not several! It seems like weight loss and exersize go together but it may be that there are too many changes to manage all at once. You may need to choose say exersize for the first half of the year and then add diet in the second half of the year. That keeps it measurable and reasonable.
  4. If you have a reasonable measurable goal you can then develop genuine confidence that you can keep to it. This type of self-confidence must be specific to the goal. This is important. Be focused! Using the weight loss example, one pound a week is something most of us can do with confidence. It might be wise to create a chart and mark the weight loss only once a month. We all know how our weight can fluctuate from day to day. But at the end of the month if you are four pounds lighter then more power to you!
  5. Up to now, your goals are inspiration. It’s time to change the inspiration to motivation. It’s time to activate your resolution. What specific first action can you take to move you towards your goal? Don’t try to figure out every step towards the end result before getting started. You’ll just get overwhelmed and are more likely to abandon the entire goal. Do you need to talk to a nutritionist or a personal trainer? Do you need to decide what type of diet you are gong to follow and shop for those foods? What is a specific first step? Is there a smart-phone app that will help you succeed? Once you’ve identified that first step determine a start date and an end date and put it on your calendar. Be reasonable. For example don’t schedule things on a week when you have to travel for work. It won’t happen if you do.
  6. Track your progress and reward your accomplishments! Reinforce each small step by acknowledging it and giving yourself some type of “pat on the back!”
  7. Don’t let a setback derail you. In the world of addiction treatment there is a familiar saying: “relapse is a part of recovery.” If you fall off your plan for a day, get back on it the next day. One day is not a disaster, giving up completely is. Persist, persist, persist! If you are feeling discouraged call or visit one of the people that you originally told about your goal. Don’t be afraid to ask for support from your trusted friends and family.

Research shows that if you can keep one goal going for one year you are very likely to continue it or another goal into the next year. Remember, personal success is a longterm project. You’ll be far more successful in the long run if you approach change as the tortoise and not as the hare. Jackrabbit starts and stops don’t not lend themselves to permanent change.

If this sounds like you or anybody you know, contact me through my website for more information. I’m here to help.

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