5 simple tips to making your New Year’s resolutions stick

Do you pay credence to New year’s resolutions, to be more specific creating goals for the year ahead? Are you someone who makes grand declarations about the things that you are going to do, with a celebratory glass in one hand yet in the cold stark light of day, find these things are neglected because, life gets in the way? Then here are five simple Self-Coaching steps, that will lead to success in achieving your goals for the year head.

1. ARE YOU READY?

“The secret of getting ahead, is getting started”, Mark Twain

It’s simple, if you’re not ready or committed, it is likely you will feel like giving up, even before you have started. To test-bed this try the RIC scaling technique; RIC stands for readiness, importance, and commitment and is a quick-fire tool to rate your goal on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest score, to gage where you stand.

This is a particularly useful technique when you feel resistance to getting started, ask yourself:

  1. How ready are you?
  2. How important to you is the change you are going to make?
  3. How confident you are that you can commit to this?

We are often surprised to discover whilst we are ready to make change, and it is important to us, we are not necessarily committed. Reflecting on your scoring, can help expose any barriers that may prevent you from moving forward.

Once you have highlighted those things that may be blocking you, you can begin to look at ways to overcome this, and start to access if these blocks are valid enough for you not to take action, in this present moment in time. By removing any obstacles, you can set the path clear to embark on your goal change.

2. SEE IT AND BELIEVE IT!

“There is no happiness except in the realisation that we have accomplished something.” Henry Ford

Imagining how you would feel, once you’ve accomplished your goal is a good place to kick start your action plan. Apart from being a great motivator the vision of success can move you beyond procrastination, a common technique used by athletes where studies have proven that focusing on the visualisation of success improves performance concentration and ability. This technique can help to reduce anxious thoughts, (and the fear of getting started) because when you can see yourself achieving what you want, and exploring what this success would mean to you, (and how you would feel) the goal becomes far more reachable.

3. BE SPECIFIC

“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.” Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog

If you are looking to do the same things as last year – yet feel demotivated as you feel like you are repeating yourself. Or, you believe discarding what didn’t work is a better way forward, then don’t lose heart. Resetting your goals, or creating new ones by using the SMART goal model can be effective in helping you crystallise what it is you really want. Check your goal(s) are:

S – specific, are your goals simple and stretching?

M – measurable, can these can be monitored?

A –  achievable, can you reach your goal/ do you have the resources?

R –  realistic,  can you commit to what you have set out to do?

T – timescale, can your goals be achieved in the time you have set?

The benefits of following this model of goal setting is to ensure you have clarity and awareness about what you want, why you want it, and how you will achieve it.

4. SELF-VALIDATION

“If you never change your mind, why do you have one” Edward De Bono

When it comes to your New Year’s resolutions, if you thought you wanted to do one thing, and it turns out once you have assessed your readiness, and followed the SMART goal model, and you find you have a preference to do something else – then go for it!  Following your instinct with the things that make you happy will make you more motivated and committed to the process, than if you choose to do something for the sake of it.

5. CELEBRATE THE SMALL STUFF

Happiness in not something ready made, it comes from your own actions” – Dalai Lama

Celebrating your progress is key to success. It is important to enjoy your achievements, no matter how small, as this helps build confidence and inspires you to continue. As human beings, we have the propensity to minimise or dismiss the mini successes in our every day and disappointment can creep in.  Yet, it is in the doing (in the taking part) that we become better, and more practiced – and this creates happiness, so whether you are learning something new, or making significant changes make note of the incremental steps you achieve along the way.

SUMMARY

It is not through a lack of intention, that our best wishes for ourselves do not happen, it is often down to our approach, by following these simple steps you can help yourself to making a success of the things you want to do, all year long.

  1. Test-bed if you are ready to achieve your goal
  2. Beat procrastination by visualising your success
  3. Reset your goals so they are specific and achievable
  4. Follow your instinct with the things you want
  5. Celebrate small victories as the success in the doing