In the January 2008 issue of the Personal Coach Bulletin (check website news) I made what I consider to be some very important points relative to New Years Resolutions. I am back to make a few more comments and to reinforce what I previously said.
In tackling this issue last January, I said that I believed most people are unsuccessful in keeping resolutions because they do not know themselves well enough nor understand why they operate in the world in the way in which they do. There is absolutely no reason for me to change this belief after a year. In fact now, I will say that in my opinion it is the number one reason why people fail! In other words knowing who you are at a; physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual level, and being aware of what your needs are, creates the best chance of you being successful at making lasting changes to your behaviour.
You must understand that sheer will power and determination alone, will seldom carry you to a point of no return, to your particular negative behavoiur.
Actioning New Years Resolutions is about behavioural change and behavioural change is about attitudes. Attitudes are engrained over a lifetime and are not easily discarded, changed or modified. In other words just by saying it, will not make it so!
So just REALLY how important is it to you to resolve to discard, change or acquire a new behaviour, start or stop doing something associated with an attitude this year? I mean just where is it that your motivation is coming from anyway? If you can answer these questions to your satisfaction, than perhaps you might be willing to examine what it really takes to achieve success with your New Years Resolutions!
Are you really willing to look at who you are, where you are in time and how you got there, before you go about deciding where you want to go (resolution) and how you are going to get there? If your answer is yes, then remember that winning over your bad behaviours (i.e. eating to much, working to much, smoking, not exercising, procrastinating, neglecting your family, etc.) is about process not outcomes. In other words with a new found heightened awareness of who you are and why you behave the way that you do, you are now in a much better place to strategically set goals, prepare action plans and set out on your journey to new and exciting discoveries about yourself.
As I had said in last Januarys issue and it is worth repeating here again; in setting goals remember that you stand a much better chance of being successful if they meet the following criteria:
SPECIFIC: Instead of setting a vague goal such as lose weight, set a specific goal, such as; 'I want to lose weight and I plan to do it by swimming 3 times a week and cutting 800 calories a day from my intake.' People who set specific goals are more successful than those who don't. Make sure you write your goals down, and any smaller interim steps within your goal, as this will help you to define them.
MEASURABLE: Instead of 'I want to lose weight,' set a goal like 'I want to lose 15 kg so I can achieve my goal of 85 kg.'
ACHIEVABLE: Do you have the skills and resources needed to complete the goal? If you want to enter an organized cycle ride in the future -- do you have a bike to train for the ride? Can you ride during daylight hours? Is your goal practical? Does it fit in with your lifestyle and your family?
RELEVANT: Is your goal relevant to your bigger picture goals? Does it fit with the long term vision for your life?
TIMELY: Make sure your goal has a deadline -- and that you have set dates for individual steps within your main goal. For example, 'I'll be able to walk to the local shops and back by February.'
Taking a strategic approach to the accomplishment your New Years Resolutions may seem like a daunting task but if you manage the process in a step-by-step fashion, taking it slowly, in bit size chunks you can get it done. My job as a Life & Business Coach is to work with my clients to do exactly what I have been talking about here. The only difference is that the time of year does not matter. You might want to consider using a coach to help you answer the questions I have been asking? The benefits of your own personal coach are significant. Here are just a few:
It gets you focused on what you need, why you need it and how you can get it.
It enables you to bridge the gap between where you are now and where youd like to be.
It provides structure, and encourages you to do more than you would normally do by yourself.
It provides you with; confidence, support, belief, space, encouragement and motivation.
It can enable you to reach your goals, or accomplish your dreams/ambitions.
Give me a call; it just might be the best Christmas gift you could give yourself!
Your Personal Coach