Ah…the first week of January. By now, most of us are tired of the eating, drinking, socializing and the break from routine that we spent most of December planning, prepping and shopping for. Our motivation for change is high this the time of year and many of us aspire to make healthy changes in 2019. Unfortunately, only 8% of people ever reach their New Year’s Goal. Why is this? Why is it so hard for most people to reach their goals?
In my experience, one of the biggest obstacles to lasting change is expecting too much too soon. We want a radical overhaul and we want it yesterday. Instead of giving ourselves the time and space to make lasting behavioural changes, we choose “quick fix” solutions that don’t work or are not sustainable. We then become disappointed and frustrated and we disconnect from pursuing our goal. My favourite practice for turning New Years’ Resolutions into lasting results is to follow these three steps.
- Identify why you want change and how making those changes will positively impact your life. Understand that obstacles are inevitable. The most important part of the journey is not the end result, but the integration of healthier habits that will move you closer to the best possible version of yourself.
- Identify what action steps you need to take to reach your goal. How and when are you going to integrate these action steps into your calendar? You must do more than think about the change you desire, you must commit to taking small actions steps daily, weekly and monthly.
- Learn to celebrate your progress. Make it a habit to count your wins at the end of each day. Take 5 minutes and celebrate the changes that you are making to your behaviour so that you feel good throughout the process. Success is not linear. You have to stay with the process even when progress is slower than you wish. I often tell my clients, we must learn to rephrase the question, am I there yet? To, am I moving in the right direction?