Every year countless people (me included) come up with New Years resolutions only to have them fall by the wayside in a month or less. This can be very discouraging, so I have come up with four to help make your resolutions easier to maintain.
1. Believe you can do it. It is generally easy to come up with your resolutions. Everybody knows what they need to do to become better at whatever it is that they desire to be better at. The hard part is not knowing what to do, the hardest thing is doing it. The first step in actually doing it is believing that it is possible. If you begin your resolution thinking in the back of your head that it will never last, you will be right. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.” It starts deep down in your heart. If you do not truly believe it, don’t make it a resolution or change your thinking!
2. Write them down and put them in a place where you will see them regularly. I have written before about the importance of writing goals down, the principles are the same. You can find that post here.
3. Involve an outside accountability partner. It does not matter who your accountability partner is. It can be a spouse, a friend, minister, trainer or a complete stranger for that matter. The key is that they are willing to hold you accountable. They have to be strong enough to call you out when you make excuses. We all have reason for not doing things. Sometimes they are even valid. If you want to lose weight, hire a trainer that is going to be calling you to make sure you are showing up. If you are like me, when you put money on the table, you will be sure to use the service because who wants to waste money!?! If you do not want to hire a trainer, enlist someone to work out with. If you know someone is waiting on you, you are far less likely to leave them hanging.
4. Create a system that will help you succeed. Now that you have an accountability partner, have written down your resolutions, put them on your bathroom mirror, and believe that you can do it, it is time to create systems that will help you to succeed. Staying with the weight loss analogy, pack your lunch. If you leave your house to go to work without a nutritious lunch packed when it becomes noon time you will go back to old faithful (for me this is a McDouble with no mustard from McDonalds). That is not going to help you lose weight. Instead of parking right by the front door at the office, park at the back of the lot, so you have no choice but to walk those extra steps. Use the steps instead of the elevator. The important thing is to change your behavior and to create systems around your resolutions that will help you succeed.
Remember, if you do fall, it is only considered a failure if you do not get back up.
What are some processes that you have used to make your resolutions stick?