It’s that time, when we look to the future with hopes and dreams for the coming year. Many of us will make New Year resolutions in the hope of improving our lives. Sadly, though, most of those ambitions, however well meant, will fall by the wayside within a few weeks of Big Ben chiming in 2017.
For instance, you may make resolutions such as “get fit”, “lose weight”, “be happy”, “get rich”. All noble hopes but, in reality, far too vague to ever work. How do you measure “getting fit” and when do you hope to achieve this?
You need to make your goals more specific and give yourself a timescale for achieving them, rather than sometime in the coming year. In fact, rather than the year, let’s set goals for the coming month. For instance:
• Go to the gym twice a week during January.
• Lose 4lb in weight during January.
• Spend an hour a day working on my new business plan during January.
• Spend ten minutes every morning practicing mindfulness during January.
Look at the above goals, and adjust your own New Year’s resolutions to work in the same way. Don’t they seem much easier to achieve now? And once you’ve got through January this way, you can set new or revised goals for the following month, and so on through the year.
Another mistake people fall into is setting unachievable or unpleasant goals. There’s no point saying you’re going to run five miles a day if you’ve done no exercise for years. Far better to start off with, say, a steady one-mile walk three times a day and work up to more ambitious targets. And if you’ve been eating too much chocolate, banning yourself from cocoa-based treats entirely will be no fun, so how about “eat chocolate just once a week during January”?
Of course, some goals can’t be achieved in a month. Maybe you hope to run a marathon in August, in which case you need to set a training programme for the months leading up to the event. Or if you want to write a book, set yourself a weekly target for the number of words you need to write.
Start the New Year like this and you’ll be well on your way to having a better life. The Save Your Life book contains strategies to enable you to free up time to spend on your resolutions and also ways to ensure that you stick with them. It even shows how just two minutes is enough to establish a new habit.