New Year Resolutions Review
While most people are keen to make some resolutions come January mos are less willing to check back in on progress 3 months later. There are only 4 possible things that could have happened from your resolutions and how to take the next step is based off what has already happened. For most people new year resolutions are new behaviours, these behaviours will look to achieve a goal normally, e.g. go to the gym 5 times a week (so I lose weight), go to dance class every week (so I am happier/more social). How did your resolutions go??
Never got started – Never made progress
You made a resolution, it sounded good and you did absolutely nothing with it. Don’t beat yourself up, this is new year resolution time - you are describing the norm
What to do – This behaviour of yours had little emotional weight behind it. If it did you would have done something about it. You need more drive to push you onto the next step. This comes in two forms, one is looking at some of the motivators behind doing it, how will it be enjoyable?? What pain will you suffer now or in the future by not starting it today?? The other area is looking at what specific blocks may be preventing it. It could be you are nervous to go that first time on your own, the more emotional force behind it the more these obstacles are easily overcome but failing that what would you need to take that next step?
Got started – Never made progress
So you joined that gym, became a member of that group, started doing your daily meditation. But two weeks on it is back to square one. Good work for at least making a bit of progress. From this experience you will have already learned some information.
What to do - Go back to the task and review it. Ask yourself what was good/did I like about it / worked well? Then counter this with what was bad / did you hate / didn’t work well? This should give you more information to go forwards, take the positives and magnify them, take the negatives and remove and overcome them. For example, if the gym worked well at lunchtime when I did 20 minutes on the treadmill and 15 minutes weights yet I got bored on the bike and staying for an hour. Drop the latter two. If the meditations worked well when the house was empty but not when the kids were back find a spot to go when they are home or a time when they are not.
Started made some progress
You set a target and low and behold you actually did a lot of what you intended. You may not have been quite as good as you would like, e.g. only got to the gym twice a week not four times etc but progress is progress.
What to do - The key is to go back and review what worked well and what didn’t. Were there specific situations where the plans keep falling apart? From this information go and do more of the good and less of the bad until it becomes an even more ingrained and established behaviour. You may find you need a whole new set of information to get to the next level, e.g. a 15 minute exercise workout, a 10 minute relaxation sequence. Where can you learn this? Who already knows it?
Started and made amazing progress
A target was set, a plan was instigated and three months on you are killing it and it seems as ingrained and natural as it could have been. e.g. you are hitting the gym daily, you are more relaxed through your meditations and a little bit addicted.
What to do – Congratulations on the success. The key now is two fold, one is to check in with the intended resolution and see how this behaviour fits into the main goals, e.g has going to the gym brought about the weight loss you wanted? Has the mediation brought down stress to the desired levels? Your resolution has been a success regardless of how the overall outcome has come, e.g. if you set out to do the gym and done it…congrats…if the weight is the same then the answer lies in changing something else as well (food) - The plan must be progressed. The second thing to do is to plan for problems in the future, what will you do during the school holidays when the kids are off? What about when work gets stressful? Though the behaviour is going well, 10 week behaviours have a habit of disappearing when life gets tough. Plan for problems!