Are you determined to reinvent yourself in 2017? Are you ready to rid yourself of bad habits or achieve something you've long desired? But you've made that commitment year after year and somehow it never sticks!
Yep, it’s that time of year again! The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we believe that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence needed to reinvent ourselves.
Traditionally, New Year’s Day is viewed as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in our lives and the time that we must begin all important new year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a rather stressful time, right in the middle of the party and holiday season.
So instead of making the same mistakes like every previous year, my recommendation is not to set yourself up yet again for failure in 2017, by pledging to make huge changes that might be hard and sometimes impossible to keep. Instead follow these seven steps to accomplish the new year’s resolutions you can achieve this time for good.
1. Start with just one goal
If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to start with.
Make the goal concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change then after a month or so you can add the second goal. As you accomplish small goals, one after the other, the chance to revamp yourself by the end of 2017 is much more realistic and can be fully attainable!
Whatever you start with, don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s destined to fail, like running a marathon if you’re 60lbs overweight and get out of breath when walking upstairs. Instead, resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down, you can begin running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change the most?
2. Plan ahead
To make sure of success you need to research the change you’ve decided on and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here's a few things you could do to prepare and set the ground work to begin making your change...
Research it – Go to the library and read about the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. As you do your research your motivation will also increase to succeed at the goal set before you!
Plan for success – Get everything ready. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic or motivational sounds at the get go. Then you'll have no excuse to hold you back.
3. Anticipate problems
There will be problems so make a list of what they could be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard, you can work out ways to deal with them once they rear their ugly heads.
4. Pick a start date
You DO NOT have to make these changes on New Year’s Day! That’s the traditional but unfortunately also the most impractical day. If you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. For instance, once your kids return to school after the Christmas holidays might be beneficial.
However, sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. And usually, you’ll know when the time is right and you're ready to take on the battle.
5. Go for it
On the big day go for it 150%. Make a vision card. Write your vision on a small card and keep it handy. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet or handbag. Or you could keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for extra doses of positive reinforcement.
Your vision card will say something like...