It’s coming to that time of year when we get really excited about the improvements we are about to make in our lives. There is something about the New Year that brings out the fixer-upper in us.
Yet history has shown us that New Year resolutions don’t often last, for a variety of reasons.
Most times when we set New Year resolutions, we set very lofty goals. And not only do we set lofty goals, we set too many of them. So imagine this: you’re used to working 12-hour days, you eat whatever you can get your hands on, and you exercise whenever you can squeeze in the time. So you’re eating junk 95% of the time and exercising once a week, if you’re lucky.
Come the 31st of December, you decide you want to clean up your eating, exercise at least three times a week, get at least eight hours sleep every night and spend more time with family and friends. So that’s four major changes all carried out at the same time. Unknowingly you have set yourself up for failure. Too much change in too short a period of time is hard to sustain.
So to raise the odds of achieving your resolutions, I offer you these seven tips.
1. REMEMBER TO KISS
For resolutions to have any chance of success, you need to Keep It Simple, Stupid. Following on from the example above, instead of saying “I want to clean up my eating”, simplify it down to, “I will eat vegetables with each of my three meals”.
2. KEEP IT SMART
When we keep our resolutions Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound, we are more likely to keep to them.
3. POWER OF3
In order to increase our chances of success, it’s always good to keep the number of changes we want to make to a small and manageable number. Making three changes to your life every year may not sound like a lot but add that up over 10 years and you would have made 30 improvements to your life.
4. CARE AND SHARE
When we share our resolutions with our family and friends, they will help keep us accountable. Having these accountability partners is very important as there will be days when the going gets tough and they will be the ones who will deliver that swift kick to your backside if you are tempted to slip.
5. MAKE IT A HABIT
Make small changes to your daily routine. Don’t try to change the world overnight.
6. TRACK IT OR FORGET IT
What we track, we manage. A reason we need SMART resolutions is it allows us to track our progress against the goal we set.
7. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
We will slip up sometimes. We’re human. Just dust yourself off and getback on the wagon. Don’t waste time beating yourself up.
Research has shown that only 8% of those who made resolutions actually achieved them. The good news is that people who made resolutions were 10 times more likely to change their lives for the better than those who didn’t. So keep on making those resolutions and with these tips, you should be part of the 8% that achieves them. Good luck!
Steph Chu is a Leadership Coach who has spent 16 years in Accenture, gaining a reputation as a fire-fighter who saves projects that are falling behind. She does this by building and leveraging the peak performance of her teams.
Steph is also the author of the soon-to-be-published, ‘Building High Performance Teams for Women Leaders.’
For more information visit : www.stephchucoaching.com
Kareen Lai gave up a career in teaching to set