Happy New Year! I hope you’re able to focus on whatever is most important to you this year.
My year is off to a fun start as Balance Bar® has hired me as their Balance Life Coach/ New Year’s Resolutions Guru. Join us for a live Twitter chat on January 9th at 1:30pm est/10:30am pst (#ResolutionChat). Balance Bar® is also hosting an Outlast Your Resolutions Facebook contest from 1/1 to 1/18. The grand prize is an hour long personal phone coaching session with me and a great prize package featuring Balance Bar products and items to help you achieve healthy balance in the coming year. In related news, I’m now on Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to receive more regular tips and tricks to achieve success that’s balanced.
In the meantime, to get you off on the right foot, check out the first of two articles below on how to outlast your resolutions.
Here’s to your fulfillment, success and balance.
How to Outlast Your Resolutions
Resolutions are as common as champagne on New Year’s Eve and, unfortunately, they lose their fizz just as quickly. In fact, nearly 80% of all new-year’s resolutions are broken by the end of January each year.
This time of year, I tend to hear from many folks that they want to lose weight, get fit and create more organization. To set yourself up for lasting success, it’s important to approach your resolutions from a balanced perspective. Here are some tips that can set you on the path to success:
- Short-Term Focus – Humans, by nature, have a short-term focus and work better with small steps. Many don’t consider this when making resolutions. It takes too long to achieve a goal of losing 20 pounds or of fitting into your skinny jeans. It’s much more realistic, for example, to commit to replacing one can of soda in the afternoon with a much healthier alternative. A piece of fruit or a handful of baby carrots will help curb your sugar craving and are healthier alternatives. The positive feedback from small, daily successes will create motivation and – eventually – lead to lasting, balanced change.
- Be Patient with Yourself – On average, it takes 21 days to create a new habit. When you first get started, it will take more time and energy to focus on your daily goal. The trick is to notice when you didn’t accomplish your daily goal – and to not beat yourself up about it. After about three solid weeks of working on your daily goals, they’ll become second nature and part of your daily routine.
- Enlist Your Support Network – Build the support and accountability you’ll need to make your resolution a reality. Talk with your partner or folks in your support network about your goals. Saying a resolution out-loud or even via social media creates outside accountability and increases your success rate by 80%. That’s why I’m excited to participate in the “Outlast Your New Year’s Resolutions” Facebook contest and offer you more tips.
- Gauge Your Progress – Create a simple chart, diagram or collage that will help you to gauge your progress one day at a time. Simply refer to this tool at the beginning and end of each week and month to review how far you’ve come. You can represent your progress with percentages, different colors or smiley faces. There’s no one right way to do it. All that matters is that you create a measurement tool that works for you.
- Create a Theme – If resolutions don’t appeal to you but you still want to make some changes in your life this coming year, consider creating a theme for the year. A theme is a word or succinct phrase that describes how you want to show up in the world, the qualities you’ll bring forth and the impact you’ll make each day, week and month of the year. Examples include “going out on a limb,” “feeling good and looking good,” or “enjoying the fruits of my labor.” You get the idea.
Once you have your resolution or theme for the year, you can make a list of actions that will help support your intention. For example, for the theme of “feeling good and looking good”, perhaps it’s following-through with all those doctor appointments you’ve been putting off or committing to start each day with breakfast.
To help anchor your resolution or theme so that it has a longer shelf life and you’re reminded of it on a daily and weekly basis, try writing it as the screensaver on your computer; as the wallpaper on your phone; or on the front page of your hard copy calendar. The idea is to have it front and center so that each day you’re reminded of your intention for the year. Then, each day, you choose one small, achievable, realistic action step that will help support your theme or resolution.