It’s inevitable. This is the time of year when we all start reflecting on the last twelve months: what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve fallen short on, and we start making promises for the new year. Oh yes, it’s resolution time, baby!
Whether you diligently follow this tradition or despise it with every inch of your being, setting goals for self-improvement is part of our human nature. The hard thing about it is actually following through. Studies have shown that
less than 8% of people successfully achieve their resolutions. That alone makes resolutions seem somewhat fleeting.
So what’s the problem? Changing behavior is difficult, it requires self-awareness and commitment. It’s also often something that doesn’t happen overnight and that can be hard to accept, especially in the fast-paced world we’ve become accustomed to. I say this as someone who is guilty of wanting immediate results and has accepted, with little resistance, that my attention span is less than that of a goldfish. Yep, let that sink in for a second…or eight. ?
Understanding that the odds are slightly stacked against us doesn’t mean we can’t be successful in accomplishing our resolutions. I am humbly pleased to share that, for the first time that I can remember, I stuck to my resolution. It started with a simple promise over a toast with friends to get more involved, dedicating some of my time to others. I am now finishing up my second season as an assistant soccer coach and gearing up our girls for their first ever State Cup.
So, what started as a lofty promise to myself with no clear direction has allowed me to share my passion for a sport that’s truly a part of who I am while having a positive impact on the girls, teaching them some of life’s softer skills.
With each new year, I find excitement in the uncertainty of what stands ahead. This year, more than most, that uncertainty is a little overwhelming, but undoubtedly there will be change.
So, as we enter the new year, work on finding that change you want and set your mind to it. Whether you plan on setting a resolution or not, here are some tips that I’ve found very helpful. They probably won’t change your opinion on resolutions, but you just might start finding it easier to reach your goals.
- Identify your problem statement. Whether you’re making a resolution to improve yourself or trying to quit a bad habit, you need to start somewhere. Do some reflecting to try and identify what you’re really trying to improve or change. Sometimes you might need to dig a little deeper to find the problem.
- Be diligent. Get out a calendar, a notepad (old school, but having something to look at helps) to track your progress or set milestones for you to achieve. By having something written down you can look back at what you’ve accomplished or push yourself to do more.
- Tell others. Sticking to something isn’t easy, so when you tell someone they’re likely to ask how things are going or even want to get involved with you. Think about it, always so much easier to get out of your comfort zone with encouragement from others or a buddy that tags along.
- Focus on smaller steps. Think of what you need to do in order to get to your goal and break it into smaller milestones that can be achieved one at a time. This will allow you to see the progress as you move towards the final goal.
- Celebrate your wins. It’s easy to get discouraged, especially if results aren’t immediate. So try and focus on the wins, whether small or big acknowledge what you’ve achieved.
Cheers…and good luck!