Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of
year when we feel as if we have to turn over a
new leaf. The time when we misguidedly
imagine that the arrival of a new year will
magically provide the catalyst, motivation and
persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.
Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the
ideal time to kick start a new phase in your
life and the time when you must make your all
important new year’s resolution.
Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is
also one of the worst times to make a major
change in your habits because it’s often a
relatively stressful time, right in the middle of
the party and vacation season.
Don’t set yourself up for failure in 2015 by
vowing to make huge changes that will be
hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps
for successfully making a new year’s
resolution you can stick to for good.
1. Just pick one thing
If you want to change your life or your lifestyle
don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It
won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life
to change to begin with.
Make it something concrete so you know
exactly what change you’re planning to make.
If you’re successful with the first change you
can go ahead and make another change after
a month or so. By making small changes one
after the other, you still have the chance to be
a whole new you at the end of 2015 and it’s a
much more realistic way of doing it.
Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s
bound to fail either, like running a marathon if
you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath
walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to
walk every day. When you’ve got that habit
down pat you can graduate to running in short
bursts, constant running by March or April
and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s
the one habit you most want to change?
2. Plan ahead
To ensure success you need to research the
change you’re making and plan ahead so you
have the resources available when you need
them. Here are a few things you should do to
prepare and get all the systems in place ready
to make your change.
Read up on it – Go to the library and get
books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting
smoking, taking up running or yoga or
becoming vegan there are books to help you
prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do
enough research you should even be looking
forward to making the change.
Plan for success – Get everything ready so
things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up
running make sure you have the trainers,
clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with
energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can
be no excuses.
3. Anticipate problems
There will be problems so make a list of what
they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able
to anticipate problems at certain times of the
day, with specific people or in special
situations. Once you’ve identified the times
that will probably be hard work out ways to
cope with them when they inevitably crop up.
4. Pick a start date
You don’t have to make these changes on
New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional
wisdom, but if you truly want to make
changes then pick a day when you know you’ll
be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by
positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids
go back to school in February.
Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s
better to wait until your whole mind and body
are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll
know when it is when the time comes.
5. Go for it
On the big day go for it 100%. Make a
commitment and write it down on a card. You
just need one short phrase you can carry in
your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed
and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra
dose of positive reinforcement.
Your commitment card will say something like:
I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
I stay calm and in control even under times
of stress.
I’m committed to learning how to run my
own business.
I meditate daily.
6. Accept failure
If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a
walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t
hate yourself for it. Make a note of the
triggers that caused this set back and vow to
learn a lesson from them.
If you know that alcohol makes you crave
cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back
on it. If you know the morning rush before
school makes you shout then get up earlier or
prepare things the night before to make it
easier on you.
Perseverance is the key to success. Try again,
keep trying and you will succeed.
7. Plan rewards
Small rewards are great encouragement to
keep you going during the hardest first days.
After that you can probably reward yourself
once a week with a magazine, a long-distance
call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to
the movies or whatever makes you tick.
Later you can change the rewards to monthly
and then at the end of the year you can pick
an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll
look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have
earned it.
Whatever your plans and goals are for 2015
I’d do wish you luck with them but remember,
it’s your life and you make your own luck.
Decide what you want to do in 2015 plan how
to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be
cheering you on.
Are you planning to make a New Year’s
resolution in 2015 What is it and is it
something you’ve tried to do before or
something new?


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