Successful New Year Resolution?

HNY 2013
Did your New Year’s Resolution look like this? Here are 3 best tips to improve your success rate when it comes to making change!

HNY 2013! Oh yeah…it’s resolution time again.

Have you ever had a successful New Year’s Resolution? A new year commitment that lasted longer than 6 months, made you feel proud and still feels so great that you just never want to go back to the way it was before? We should all have personal examples and continue to be proud of these changes…No one said seeking a better life in forward motion was going to be easy and I know you are here to continue to be encouraged to do so! Good, let’s go forward then.

THREE Best Ever Tips for making change real:

1. The first, best tip for a successful resolution I can give to anyone, and believe me when I say I can be the wimpiest person I know when it comes to “having willpower” is to make the change as positive as possible! Try not to use statements that begin with “I WON’t …”. Make a resolution that begins with the words “I WILL…” Positive statements are better coaching tools.

2. The next best tip is to think “it” through before you commit. Since taking the ‘midnight pledge’ on December 31st just didn’t seem to work, you should now realize the need to reflect on what you want to make happen, the necessary steps it will take to make “it” happen and how the overall change will impact your life for the better. Digest that statement..re-read it!

For example a general statement of ‘weight loss’ or getting organized is simply too broad! Dial it down, zero in for a better understanding of the new commitment.  Again, what WILL you do and how?

For example, “I will lose 15 lbs by June 1st by working out 3-4 times a week, eating a bowl of oatmeal every workday morning and committing to refilling my water bottle 4-5 times each day.”  Or, “I will get organized in two places that will help me feel less stressed more often and keep it that way! I will always keep my work space cleaned off by tiding it at the end of everyday. I will do this by giving myself 10-15 minutes before leaving work each afternoon to clear the space and put things in well marked folders. I will also make a habit of cleaning out the car doors of trash at least two times each week before going into the house. Each Wednesday & Friday, and I will set that in my calendar now.”

This kind of detail allows for the vision to be clear and yet flexible.  By coaching yourself all the way through the how and when of the goal you have real checking points that keep you accountable and set up for successful transitions.

3. The final best tip is to use friends, technology or both to stay on the path of success! By this I mean, take advantage of everything you can to encourage the behaviors that are best for you and help you remain accountable. Using every tool will help you figure out which self-checkpoints work the best for measurable progress.  For example, personally, I am NOT a person who likes to tell other people what I am trying to change about myself (that’s why this blog helps me remain accountable to my own coaching techniques) so I use personal journal, my phone alarms, calendar reminders and then my husband.

Depending on my desired change, I would set the reminders on my alarm for the first couple weeks to repeat at regular intervals each day to say things like “Fill your water bottle NOW” or “take a 10 minute walk NOW” or on repeating alarms for Wednesdays & Fridays with a “Clean up the Car” reminder.  These alarms help the habits remain clear, timely and doable. I use a personal journal to rant or rave about myself to myself- obviously reflective. And finally, I know my husband will check in upon occasion to see how things are going with my “goals”.

After about 2 weeks, examine for yourself how often you need these regular alarms to sustain your new habits. Who knows, you may want them to continue daily if you think you would fall back into your old ways without these reminders or you may want to simply set up for a weekly review time to browse your activity log and reflect on the changes that are making your life better.

NOTE: Always remember, reflection and log-keeping are key actions for busy people who want to be their own best coach!

Let’s get to it! Pick one or two things and work toward your best, full-on, healthful satisfaction!  Set yourself up for success by making positive and thoughtful changes! Define your ultimate achievement with clarity, work the plan to create sustainable change in your life. Celebrate your own good feelings about the changes you are working toward. For example, at the water cooler take a split second to be proud of yourself or better yet, admire your glowing skin in the mirror and recognize that hydration works for all of your body systems!  (or) Keeping that car cleaned?  Look at it, enjoy the chaos-free zone! When you get in the car, look around at it and actually say, “Ahhh, this is nice!” Also, remind those who ride along regularly to pick up after themselves so that your continued goal remains easy!

It’s the little things we do for ourselves that create the biggest difference in our lives! Now is the time to begin the New Year’s Resolution Process for real! You can do it, always remain in forward motion!

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