By Valerie Tunks, Board Certified Coach
Happy New Year!
The beginning of 2012 brings the chance for a fresh start and visions of what we’d like to accomplish over the course of the year. January is often when we declare this is the year we’ll lose weight, quit smoking, exercise more, save money, finally run that marathon… Sound familiar?
How many times have you started off strong only to give up or slack off a month or two later? Don’t feel badly – it’s not uncommon. According to a 2010 Marist poll
, about half of American adults (48%) made a new years resolution. The poll also found that while 60% of those people kept to their resolution for at least part of the year, 40% of them did not. This year, try something new; resolve to keep your resolution! Wondering how? Here are some simple steps to take to help you keep up your stamina so you can finally reach that finish line.
What do you really want?
Think about what it is you truly want to accomplish; coming up with a resolution just for the sake of having one is sure to set you up for failure. It’s nearly impossible to focus the time and energy needed to accomplish your goal if you aren’t fully committed to it. Imagine what your year would be like if your resolution was to run a marathon if you really didn’t want to! You wouldn’t last long and the days of training would be a sweaty, miserable mess. So, before you commit to your resolution, visualize what you need to do in order to be successful. If you aren’t willing to do it, choose something you are actually motivated and excited to work at.
Set mini milestones
A big task can be overwhelming, so break it down into smaller pieces. Set several short-term goals so you can be successful along the way, giving you confidence to keep going. It feels good to succeed, so the more mini milestones you reach, the more likely you are to push forward. If you feel yourself slipping, set another short-term goal that you can accomplish quickly to keep you motivated. The more often you achieve success the more motivated you will be to be successful again.
Hold yourself accountable
Accountability is key. It’s too easy to give up if you aren’t being held accountable to follow through with your goals. Pick someone supportive to check in with and keep posted on your progress. If someone is expecting you to follow through, you are much more likely to. If you can’t find a friend or family member to check-in with, post your goal on Facebook or Twitter and keep people up-to-date on your progress. If social media isn’t comfortable for you, tell your priest, rabbi, and teacher, or find a life coach – just be accountable to someone! Sometimes that extra support is all you need.
When 2013 rolls around, instead of being haunted by resolutions past, you can look forward to setting another goal and feeling confident that you have the tools to achieve it. Good luck!