How many times have you made a New Year resolution in the past?

And how many New Years resolutions were forgotten before January was over? You won’t be alone if you’re honest enough to admit that the answer is most or even all of them!

There are several reasons why people don’t succeed with their New Years resolutions including:

– They make too many resolutions at one time
– The intentions are too vague.
– They are unrealistic.
– They often have no value attached.

In order to considerably increase your ability to make your New Years resolution work, you have to put in a little effort, not much but a little more than you have probably done before.

If your approach hasn’t been successful in the past, there is absolutely no reason why it should work in the future, so it’s time to do things differently.

Let’s start with values

That’s another way of describing something that is really important or of value to you. Suppose you are thinking about quitting smoking, changing your job, losing weight, getting fitter and learning Japanese.

how to stick to your new years resolutions_2That would be a big chunk to deal with and it would be a better idea to decide which of those actions would make the most significant benefit or difference to your life.

In other words, which would you value first and foremost? Then, which would provide the second most significant benefit or difference? My suggestion is to focus on just one resolution at a time starting with the one that has the highest value to you.

Now let’s make your resolution meaningful to you

Vague statements won’t work because there’s nothing that your mind can grasp and act on. You need to be specific, so follow these steps to create what’s called A Well Formed Outcome.

1. What do you want?

State it briefly and positively. Example: To be able to confidently express my thoughts and ideas in business meetings.

2. Evidence of change?

What will you See, Hear and Feel when you have made the change? Example: I’ll see encouraging facial expressions from colleagues. I’ll hear my voice strong and free of hesitations. I’ll feel alert and breathing easily. Only when you involve your senses at a conscious level will your resolution become really meaningful.

3. Is it appropriate?

Is there any reason why this outcome would not be in your best interests? (Sometimes people enjoy certain benefits that won’t exist when they change).

4. Resources needed?

What resources are available to support you? Example: coaching by a trusted colleague, successful achievement in other situations, books and courses are typical resources.

how to stick to your new years resolutions_35. Progress checks?

How can progress be measured? Example: constructive critique by a trusted colleague

6. Start?

When is it appropriate to start? An almost immediate date is important or the prospect of action will rapidly diminish.

7. Timescale? 

What is a realistic timescale to achieve the outcome? Now that you’ve defined what you want, how you’ll recognise the change etc. You will already have started the process because your unconscious mind has been given the road map.

Here’s an invaluable tip

There’s an expression that says ‘you can’t eat an Elephant in one go’. If your resolution is a big one, break it down into a number of small chunks and work on the first chunk.. Each successive chunk should have a Well Formed Outcome even though they might be almost identical.

Working this way makes it possible for you to enjoy the results of that little bit of extra effort you’ve put in. You will have transformed a vague wish with little chance of achievement, into the possibility of an outstanding success.

Now you can start 2016 with a spring in your step – so are you ready for the course?

Connect with Expert Robin How.

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