Connect and Grow Magazine - Edition 5 January 2024
Natalia has written another great article, this one with the focus on becoming clear on your New Year goals and action steps you can take to achieve them.
What is YOUR focus for the New Year?
Quit smoking. Improve fitness. Lose weight. Travel more. Learn a new skill. Spend more time with loved ones. These are amongst the most popular New Year’s resolutions found on Google. Are any of these on your wish list?
The start of the year gives us an opportunity to create a new beginning. But how many of our resolutions last? New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap because they’re commonly abandoned by the end of January.
So, how can you make a long-lasting change starting any day, not just January 1st?
Here’s a simple, action-oriented alternative to the all-or-nothing approach commonly applied to making and keeping resolutions. Download template: My Action Template
QR code for the template:
1. Identify your goal and how you want to feel once you’ve accomplished it.
For example, if your goal is to get fitter. How would this make you feel? Stronger? More energised? Confident? Optimistic?
There’s no wrong answer. Just pick one or two feelings that go with your goal.
It’s also helpful to identify your starting point (your ‘before’) and how you will measure your ‘after’.
2. Make an ideas list of actions that help you feel that way.
Aim for activities that are quick and easy and that you can do on a daily basis. Think outside the square.
For instance, if you want to get fitter and feel more confident, as well as listing fitness activities, you could include actions like wearing an item or colour that makes you feel confident, smiling at yourself in the mirror, sitting with a straight back, writing positive affirmations, taking three deep breaths.
3. Narrow your ideas list to around 5 things you can commit to doing towards your goal daily.
Create a chart with your activities listed along one side, with the dates filled in on the other. Keep it easy. This is your starting point.
4. Every day, do as many of your identified activities as possible and record what you do.
Turn it into a fun game. How many of your activities can you tick off? Where is it easy to do something extra?
5. Modify your table as you go.
As things get easier or more embedded in your routine, either extend the minimum required or swap it for something that’s more advanced.
How does this approach work?
Change is more likely when we take small, consistent actions rather than rely on making a huge effort once in a while.
The key is to find small ways to create wins for yourself. Show yourself that you can keep your word. Create a feeling of success so that you’re inspired to do more.
And there will be days when you won’t feel like doing anything. That’s why we keep the bar low at the start. If you can tick one thing off your chart, you’ve had a successful day. You’re less likely to give up and abandon the whole thing, and it’s easier to get back on the wagon the next day.
Use this approach to set yourself up for success. Then, you can create change starting any day, not just in January.
Written by Natalia Walker
Natalia is available for consultations.
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