I had the awesome opportunity to be on Vanessa Bell Calloway’s show, “That’s So Very Vanessa,” ( http://www.blogtalkradio.com/vanessabellcalloway/2013/12/29/a-new-year-a-new-you) where we discussed how to stick to New Year Resolutions. What follows is a comprehensive write-up outlining how you can go from making resolutions to implementing a lasting lifestyle change!
Around this time every year, we are inundated with those who resolve to make some life-altering changes with the incoming of the New Year and without fail; the resolutions become obsolete by the end of February. Any change worth making must be accompanied by a shift in one’s lifestyle, becoming a natural occurrence of your everyday routine. The following outlines the steps to take if you are serious about making positive changes in your life.
Before embarking on what items on which you need to improve, you must first ask yourself why you want to make the change and the answers to the questions must be substantial and not just surface, shallow reasons. Asking yourself why allows you to set the intention that serves as the foundation on which your lifestyle change will be grounded.
- Write down your “why” and decide that nothing and no one will stop you from accomplishing this goal.
2. Write down your big, overall long-term goals. These are the types of things that will take you a significant amount of time to complete.
3. Write down the small, short-term goals that will guide you in executing your long-term goals (each goal you set must have a bigger purpose).
4. Write out your daily plan/schedule. Outline what you will do each day that will aide you in fulfilling your life’s goals. Make sure the items on this list are reasonable and realistic.
~There is power in writing, as it allows you to become personally invested in the process, in addition to serving as an accountability tool. It also serves as a sense of pride as you complete each item on your list. Remain flexible and know that you can always make changes to your lists as needed. Make sure your goals and plan are placed in a prominent place in your home and/or work so that you can see them each day.~
5. Have a contingency plan. Expect obstacles and have a plan in place to overcome them. Having a plan will stop you from giving up whenever a setback occurs. Success is the result of conquering your obstacles.
6. Confront your demons. Many times we give up on goals because we don’t want to face the thoughts that have held us back. Our thoughts have been programmed within us and are manifested through our actions by way of poor decision making. Therefore, our actions have created our unfavorable circumstances. When you’ve faced your short comings, it’s important to figure why and from where you developed this series of beliefs. Typically they come from our childhood, family, friends, or have developed from a traumatic experience or a series of repeated disappointments in life. Confronting, acknowledging and embracing your demons is the first step in conquering them. Be honest with yourself during this process.
7. Replace your demons. Put positive thoughts where the negative ones exist. Forgive yourself and others of everything bad that has happened to you. Forgiveness frees you and releases you from the bondage that has held you back. Instead of running away from the things and people that have hurt you, run toward the things you want to leave as your legacy.
8. Surround yourself with people who have a similar mind set and want the same things out of life as you. Those who are fully committed to themselves and their success and have a healthy dose of discipline will be a great support system for you.
9. Invest in professional help. It’s healthy to have unbiased, trained help-someone who has no preconceived notions of you and is there solely to help you achieve all you desire out of life. Companies invest in their employees to improve so they can better fulfill their roles, with a goal of increasing the business’ bottom line. Why not take the time to invest in your personal brand, making improvements that will help your personal bottom line?
10. Put a reward system in place. Affirming yourself daily will empower you to continue to work towards your goals in life. As you accomplish each task, reward yourself with something you enjoy doing.
Giving in to the automatic habit of making New Year’s resolution without fully acknowledging that real, significant change is a process that occurs over time will set you up for failure. If you are serious about improving, commit to making a lifestyle change, so that from month to month and year to year you are merely amending your goals lists. Remember to always be kind to yourself, as each day is an opportunity to get it right. Don’t give up on yourself because you deserve the very best!