“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, isn’t that how the saying goes?
Every year you make the same resolutions; lose weight, get fit, give up smoking/drinking/eating sugar/…take up running/meditation/veganism/…you get the picture. As if wishing could make it so. Lots of great intentions that “this year will be different”, only for the resolutions to be given up or forgotten about within weeks or even days. So don’t bother. 2020 was a tough year, 2021 starts with a lockdown, let’s do it differently this year.
Here are some tips on how Not to set a list of resolutions this year and still get off to a successful start:
- Choose ONE thing, something you’d like to be different or do differently, something that means something to you and that will be worthwhile for you. It needs to be achievable; you need to be able to take that first step.
- Know what’s in it for you – bad habits are hard to break and new habits take time and persistence to form, so you need to be able to see the benefits of sticking with your new plan. What’s in it for you if you achieve your goal? What are your reasons? What are the long-term benefits? Better make them pretty convincing because you’ll have times where you question yourself and want to give up. Write out your convincers so you’re prepared for your weakest moments.
- Get support, don’t rely on yourself alone. For years I set the intention of getting back to my optimal weight and size – last year I finally signed up to an online program with constant guidance and support; only then did I achieve my goal. Get an accountability partner, join a group of like-minded people, or commit to a class, do whatever you need to help you stay on track.
- Expect to fall along the way – and be prepared to get back up again. The latest science tells us it takes 66 days to build a habit so it’s quite likely that you’ll stray off track, or lose momentum, or come across stumbling blocks. That’s normal, you’re human. Don’t beat yourself up about it and call it a failure: learn from it and pick yourself back up, dust off and start again. Realistically be prepared for it to take anything from 6 months to a year to really establish something as part of your lifestyle.
- If there is one thing we have learned this past year, it’s that life is short and you have to live every day to its best. So don’t waste your time doing something because it’s what you ‘should’ do, or because others are doing it: make sure it’s going to make a difference in a way that is meaningful for you. And then next year you can look back and feel good inside and out because of your ‘one thing’.
So there you have it – lose the list, get real and focus on just one thing.
The first module of my ‘Looking After the Leaders’ program focuses on building Healthy Habits. If you’d like to be part of a small supportive group focused on building resilience and leaders’ social & emotional competencies over the next 6 months, contact me today (Niamh@mindworks.ie).