Aiming for a “New Year, New You”? Remember: change doesn’t need to be fast, it just needs to be consistent.”
I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, at least not in the way that most people approach them. The “New Year, New Me” mentality is a sure-fire way to give yourself whiplash, set yourself up for failure, and end-up feeling worse than you did before.
Studies show that approximately 8% of those who set a New Year’s resolution actually fulfil it, while most failures occur before January has even ended!
So, where do people go wrong? Traditionally, you’ll write down 2-3 big goals, tell your bestie about them, and set off at 100mph en route to the ‘New You’ before hitting a speedbump and inevitably returning to your old ways.
Sound familiar? Well, it’s time for a step-change to give yourself the best chance for success. But where should you start?
First of all, you’ll notice this post is written and posted way after the 1st of the month. Holding off for a week or two before starting on your new journey will give you some time to let the festive season pass, and allows you time to ease into it. Change doesn’t need to be fast, it just needs to be consistent.
Motivation and willpower are necessary, but going too hard, too fast will only kill it. Instead, go in with a plan, and make that plan kind and realistic. This isn’t about punishment. This is about sustainability. Think about ‘The Hare and The Tortoise’. Don’t be the hare.
It’s best to start with a realistic plan to navigate you through the year with as much ease as possible.
Here’s how to create your plan:
1. Write out your yearly overarching goals at the top of your page (e.g. “by end of 2019, I will be able to run 5km in under 30 minutes”).
2. Expand on each goal with 1-2 daily, manageable actions that will help you achieve your goals. You should also state why you do each tactic (e.g. every day, I will either run 5km to improve my endurance; do a Yoga class for runners to ensure I recover and reduce risk of injury; or do functional training to build my strength in line with my cardio fitness).
3. Write out any obstacles you foresee throughout the year i.e. holidays, birthdays, a busy workload and family time.
4. Finally, write out 1-2 tactics underneath each obstacle to minimize the impact those obstacles have on your progress.
This four-step plan will have you creating a flow chart with multiple goals and tactics to help you navigate your goals and arm you with the tools you need to become the person you’d more like to be.
Remember to revisit your plan. Was it too easy? Too ambitious? Realistic? Were your tactics helping you? If you’re not moving in the right direction, DON’T scrap your goals! Rather, adjust your plan on how to get there!
Habits aren’t built in a day and changes won’t happen overnight so it’s important to focus on consistency and improvement, not speed and perfection.
I’m still in the process of writing out my plan and will only start implementing it once I’m happy I think it truly reflects where I want to be at the end of this year. The most effective plan strikes a balance between realistic and ambitious.
I’d love to know what your goals are this year, and the daily habits that you are implementing to achieve them.
Let me know if I can help.
Speak soon, JC.