As the new year sets in and we begin to reflect on this past year, many of us will have our sights set on resolutions. We may discover habits or behaviors we’d like to change, or we may have an idea of a better version of ourselves we’d like to see. Whether your goals are big or small, taking the first few steps of change can be the most challenging. In order to set ourselves up for success that will carry us through the entire year, it’s important to reflect on a few key questions. These will help guide you as you craft the perfect resolution for YOU. This method can be applied any time of year, any time you’d like to create a new habit or rid yourself of one that isn’t serving you.
- Are you ready to change?
- This may seem like a silly question, but often we think about change before we’re ready to do anything about it. In order to have a new habit or change take hold, it’s important to know that you’re ready for that change. If you’ve contemplated change but aren’t feeling ready to take action, shrink the goal down until you feel confident you can tackle it, or choose another goal or habit change that you feel ready to take action on NOW. If the change doesn’t take hold on the first attempt, recognize that this is part of the process and try again.
- What’s already working?
- When we think about habit change we often think about everything we’re doing wrong, or everything that’s not happening that we would like to. That can feel overwhelming and even defeating. Instead, identify what you’re already doing well, and focus on doing more of that. For example, your goal might be to get more sleep every night. Rather than focusing on your bad habits of eating a late dinner, staying up late on your phone, or not having a consistent bed time, look for what’s already working. Maybe you’re really good at getting into bed at a decent time on Saturdays. What contributes to that? How can you replicate that on other days? We are far more likely to stick to a goal when we realize we’re already part of the way there.
- Is your goal the right size?
- As humans, we are great and crafting big, vague goals. We’re idealists. We think, “I’d like to lose 50 pounds, I’d like to run a marathon, I’d like to be a better parent.” But how does one go about losing 50 pounds? Or running a marathon? Or being a better parent? Take your big idea, and see how small you can make it. If you’d like to lose weight, think about all the action steps that are required to make that happen. Prepping meals, exercising for 30 minutes each day, measuring food or keeping a food diary are all great examples. Make sure your small goals are specific and actionable. Knocking out a few small goals will create a snowball effect and before you know it, all of those small goals put together will bring you to your big goal.
By taking a few moments to consider these questions you are ensuring that you’ve selected the right goal/habit change/resolution. If you find that you’re not motivated or struggling with your new goal, take a step back, review these questions again, and don’t be afraid to modify your goal to fit your needs. Have a very Happy New Year crushing your resolutions!