The New Year is upon us and many of us have drawn up a list of New Year resolutions. Lose weight, stop smoking, start exercising, get a new job, move house, volunteer more, drink less, save more and spend more time with family; to name just a few.
However drawing up a list of aspirations can be a pointless exercise if they are broken by February 1st or even worse by the second week in January. Resolutions are made with the best of intentions but how can we get them to stick? Below are some good tips in regards increasing the stickability of well-intentioned resolutions.
Tip 1: Write everything down
It is important to treat your new year’s resolutions in the same way you would project manage a major project at work.
Put everything down on a A3 sheet of paper of alternatively use project management software to break all you resolutions into their constituent parts and start off by setting yourself small achievable goals and deadlines.
For example, if you plan to lose two stone over the year, how does this translate into a monthly goal?
2 stone = 28 lbs
1 years= 12 months
Target Goal = 28/12 = 2.33 lbs per month
Tip 2: Track progress
It is important to keep track of your accomplishments in order to keep motivated. Start off by breaking each resolution in small manageable chunks. For example if your goal is career progression by means of a new job, keep track of the number of jobs you apply for on a weekly basis and ensure you are meeting or exceeding your targets. For example you may set an objective of 3 highly focussed jobs on a weekly basis.
Tip 3: Avoid Resolution Burn Out
If you try to achieve too much in too short a timeframe you risk resolution burn out and running out of steam after few weeks. For example, if you decide to go from zero to two hours a day in the gym, you will quickly become demotivated. It may be better to start with one hour a day three times a week to commence with and then after a few weeks you should have built up enough stamina and motivation to consider another gym session. Your gym instructor will provide you with expert advice in this regard.
If you do fall off the resolution wagon, don’t fret. Instead re-visit your initial list, revise and tweak individual items to make them more attainable and re-commit your efforts to start again. Sharing you goals with friends and family is a good way to keep motivated rather than trying to achieve a resolution in isolation.
New Year resolutions should be treated as mini projects, where goals are specific, measurable, attainable, timely and relevant. Tracking progress and sharing with friends and family is a very effective way of keeping your new year resolution project on track and ensuring they all come to fruition.