How to stick to a Resolution.
Resolution - a firm decision to do or not to do something (the dictionary).
How do you feel when people ask what your New Year’s Resolution is?
Do you think, yup, mines all sorted, I do one every year. Or do you roll your eyes and think, no one ever does them, why bother?
I used to be in the latter camp. In a lot of ways, I still am. A New Year’s Resolution is more like a catchphrase to start the year with no real intention behind it. The true definition as above has been adjusted to mean “something I will talk about for a few weeks, make a half-arsed attempt at and then wait until next year to come around before I complain that life is still the same as it was before.
Part of the problem is that resolutions are not really based on a good strategy or plan. They are based on a magic wand wish. I wish I were thinner, fitter, healthier, richer…. What do you mean you have to do some work for those things? Oh well, never mind.
It is difficult to change long held habits without expanding out the reasons behind why you want it (often it is for other people, not for yourself) and then breaking it down into small steps.
One of my “resolutions” – I prefer goal but it’s the resolution time of year – is to be at a certain weight. I know I can do it; I have done it before. I also have a good knowledge of how I do it and I have kept weight off for good chunks of time. I also know when I start to put weight on, why, and that it’s a gradual process over time. So, given that I know all of this, why am I back in a weight bracket I don’t want to be in? Because shit happens. I like cheese and red wine, good food and cake. When I am happy, I tend to eat more of the stuff I like (I know some people are the opposite).
So, when I wrote down my goal yesterday (if it’s not written down it’s just a dream), I didn’t write “I want to lose 20lbs”. That just wouldn’t work. Firstly, as humans we are not really programmed to let go of things. We are taught from a very young age not to lose things. So, when we want to lose weight, our subconscious says “no way, that’s not happening”.
Here is how my goal looks:
I will weigh x by March 2022
I will weigh x by June 2022
I will weigh x by September 2022
This gives me 3 steps to aim for and works out about 7lbs per 3 months. That is realistic (which is very important).
The next step is to write why I want it:
I want to weigh x because I know my clothes fit me better and I feel more comfortable and confident. I know when I weigh that, it is easier to walk and do Pilates. I feel stronger and healthier. When I weigh x, I know I am eating a healthier diet in general.
I also think about what happens if I don’t achieve my goal:
If I carry on as I am, I will continue to put weight on. This will not make me feel good and I will need to buy new, bigger clothes. This is bad for my finances, health and the environment. I will be annoyed with myself if I continue to put weight on.
Next, I write down how I am going to know I have achieved my goal. For weight this may be simple, you can read the scales. But it may be how your clothes fit or to do with measurements instead of weight. From experience, I know what weight suits me so I go for that.
Then I write down how I am going to reward myself for each stage of my achievement (one for March, one for June and one for September).
Finally, I start to break it down into a plan.
Using my knowledge from times I have lost weight before, I know limiting sugar and bread is helpful. This is where I will start.
I also know that exercising for 1 hour a day accelerates the weight loss and helps with my mindset too.
None of these are huge, earth-shattering steps. They are quite simple things I know I can do. If I set myself up to fail in the first few weeks by making the steps too big, my resolution will be over before it’s begun.
One of the other things I know I will need to achieve my goal is support. Getting my partner onboard to help and do things with me is essential to my success. If they are not supportive, it is still achievable, but the amount of self-motivation required makes it a lot more difficult to stay on track. If your partner will not be helpful, find a friend who will. This is why so many people join weight loss clubs, to get the support. Or find a weight loss coach.
I am illustrating the goal setting process for weight loss because it’s something so many people understand, but this can be used for anything.
My clients come to me to make big life changes. They want new careers, new relationships or to improve the ones they are in. If this is where you are, follow the same steps.
What is the goal?
Why do I want it?
How will I know I have achieved it?
How will I reward myself when I get it?
What are the first small steps I can make?
If you have been talking about the same goals for a long time, it may be the right time to get a coach onboard to be your accountability partner and cheerleader.
Remember, nothing is impossible, if other people have done it, you can too. If you are starting to think that the life you want is impossible, it’s just not meant for you, book a free introductory session.
Take the first steps towards your own Powerful Life.
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Jenny Jarvis is a practicing, certified, UK Holistic Life Change Coach and NLP Specialist who has empowered numerous people to live a life of their dreams, unleash their relationship with money and start and grow brands and businesses to great success. A truly inspirational individual, Jenny is also the mum to two amazing teens, a Reiki Master and motivational speaker. She inspires all to harness their greatness through energised coaching sessions, workshops and her membership club. Book a free introductory session with Jenny HERE and discovery how you might work together. Or why not get started with her FREE 'Life Change Kickstart' Mini course HERE