Now February is here, are your best intentions starting to crumble at the edges? Is your New Year determination disappearing and your motivation beginning to melt?
Revisit and re-boot your Resolutions using our 6 easy-fix tips below:
1. Did you make your goal specific?
A target of “improving my interpersonal skills” is vague – it’s hard to know where to start. More useful, for instance, might be “to start conversations with three new people each week”.
2. Is your goal achievable enough to be motivating?
Success is a real boost to keep you working at your resolution. An over-ambitious goal soon seems daunting or impossible and you are tempted to give up. If your ultimate goal is indeed ambitious and therefore long-term (3 months or more), break it down into separate milestones to achieve by the end of each month. Each milestone should be specific as above!
3. Is your goal positive (not negative)?
Setting out to “stop” doing something (for example, smoking or eating chocolate) soon gets depressing. Instead, turn it into a positive intention, “During February and March, I will buy Satsuma’s instead of chocolate,” or “I will save my cigarette money and buy a pair of shoes at the end of eight weeks.”
4. What’s your timescale?
Did you set a chronological “winning post” for the achievement of your resolution – and have you thought about what happens then?
“I want to lose ten pounds in weight” is open-ended (as well as negative). You could make this goal more likely to stick, by saying something like: “I’m going to achieve my target weight of 140 pounds in twelve weeks time; at that point I will set myself new actions to maintain my target weight”. (also, see no. 2 above)
5. Did you write down your goal?
When you’ve got your goal clear, positive, specific, and achievable within a realistic and specified timescale, write it down. Also, write down the actions you will take to achieve it. If you can show what you’ve decided to achieve – and how – to a friend or colleague, even better!
6. Do you beat yourself up if you slip backwards?
There is a saying, “There is no failure, only feedback”. No one ever learns to ride a bike without falling off occasionally. Just notice, then pick yourself up and continue towards your goal.
Sometimes it’s helpful to look at what’s caused you to stumble. Check back over tips 1-5 above, and you may be able to adjust your resolution to ensure your ultimate success.