We tend to get so obsessed with the HOW and the WHEN of a New Year’s resolution. The imperative of starting on the 1st of January or we have blown it (newsflash: you haven’t). And the almost obsessional levels of the HOW to get it done (newsflash: not as critical as you think). The HOW can take over the whole process: exactly what to eat, in what quantities, in what specific combinations, and so on. The training plan of how many steps or reps in how many days. This stuff is all good, but it’s surface level – knowing how many antioxidants are in a juiced carrot will not be enough to sustain motivation on a dark wild day by the time winter rocks round.
A few good resolution-setting questions are:
WHY do I want this?
Understanding and defining your WHY is mission critical. Eating more healthily just because every magazine in the land is telling you to or your sister is, will just not cut it long term. Think of your why as your spiritual fuel. It’s the power that drives the completion of your resolution. If your Why is weak, you’re likely to fall off the wagon at some point. When times get tough – as they will inevitably do – a “just because” or an “everyone else is” Why will not pull you through. You need to be able to dig deep and know why why why you are doing what you are doing. What does it mean to YOU, to your life, to achieve this goal?
Do you have a particular end point in mind? What’s your target?
If you don’t have the specifics dialled in, it’s going to be very hard to hit it and feel good about it. “Eat more healthily” and “make more money” are classics. Define what this means “I will eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruit/veg a day” or “ I will add $5000 to my income in 2017” will drive behaviour far more consistently and powerfully. Remember, set the bar at a level that you can be consistently hitting, getting yeses on the board, and then you can stretch yourself and raise the bar higher as you continue, and that habit is already established.
What is it going to feel like when you reach your goal?
When do you slip on that size 10? When you cross the finish line? When you play that duet? Again – this is spiritual fuel – it’s the foundation of a successful resolution. It’s where you tap into when, come June, things seem tough and why did you start this stupid resolution anyway? Reconnect with how it will feel when you get what you want. That desired feeling state is a powerful motivator for commitment to change long term. All the useful ‘How To’ information is at its most powerful when you layer it on top of that core commitment to Why You Want What You Want, and How It Will Feel When You Get There.
Want to make those resolutions a truly happening thing this year? Connect regularly to your Why to supercharge the process.