5 New Year’s Resolution killers
5 resolution killers. What the research says about staying on track to keep those new year’s resolutions.
- All or Nothing
- Unreasonable expectations
- Not practical
- Self defeating messages
- Tell no one
- All or Nothing – Black and white thinking, leads to extremes, often doesn’t account for factors that contribute to the situation, it’s dismissive. Driven people often shoot high when they think of goals. That’s ok as long as you can compromise sometimes. If not, you end up giving up all together. Thus, the all or nothing name. Example: When you think of going to the gym, you can break it down in manageable bites. Maybe today you can do a 20 min workout rather than an hour. Or maybe paying off debt, you can’t do the whole thing but you can get started. Something is better than nothing.
- Unreasonable expectations – Don’t try to do too much at one time. Work sequentially towards your goals by taking the next step. Think of progress not perfection. Example: sugar. I decided to cut down on sugar, rather than cut it out all together. I know myself and cutting out sugar all together is not realistic for me. By the end of lunch today, I had eaten a chocolate and a donut. Well, I can do better tomorrow.
- Not practical – Don’t try to make a goal that just isn’t practical. Make a plan that takes into account your situation whether it be financial, time, location or whatever. For example, over the past few years I have thought about doing to do some strength training over the winter months. I like to run outside when I can. So, over the holidays I tried out a new gym. When I inquired about a personal trainer, it was going to cost over $8400 for the year. For me, working out at a gym doesn’t seem to work and the cost seems quite high. I find it easier to work out at home and I am going to add some strength training to my home workout. That’s more practical for me.
- Self deprecating messages – we’re all familiar with the voices in our heads that tell us ‘we can’t do it.’ “We’re going to fail.’ Change those messages to something more helpful like, “I can try, I can do my best.’ I can improve. If you slip up call it a day and start new tomorrow. Don’t let one failure take over the process. Everyday is a fresh start. No one accomplishes their goals without distractions and small failures.
- Keep your resolution a secret – not telling people about your resolutions makes it harder to stick to them. Think about telling at least one person that can help keep you accountable to your goal. Research shows that having ongoing coaching increases the chances of staying on track with the goals you set. I’ve set a reading goal and discovered today that others can see if I’m doing it or not. That adds incentive to me sticking to my goal.
You can make progress towards your personal and professional goals by thinking sequentially and making progress in increments. Be realistic and pay attention to the practical aspects of your life, especially the key resources of time and money. Remember, if you slip up, and most of do, each day is a fresh start. Stay positive and don’t forget to celebrate the wins on your way to achieving your goals! Reward yourself for the progress you’re making. Stay positive my friends.