Apparently more than 25% of us who made new year’s resolutions will already have broken them, due to a scientific phenomenon called ‘False Hope Syndrome’. I think that might be just about the most depressing name for a syndrome I have ever heard! Anyway, if you are one of them, don’t worry. We’ve put together eight smart ways to get back on track. (Number 3 is a quirky favourite). Let us know how you get on!
1 Take a deep breath, make yourself a nice cup of tea and say, “It’s OK, each day is a new chance to start again. So let’s start again, starting today.”
Just like that. Simple. Beating yourself up gets you nowhere. And anyway, what does it matter that you missed a day of doing X or not doing Y. The most important thing is sticking to it most of the time.
2 Track your progress.
Find a way to focus on what you DID do, rather than what you didn’t. I have started running again, having not run more than a couple of times in two years. I really don’t like the bit that involves achy muscles, but I love the feeling of being free in the fresh air. I have a cool run tracking app on my phone which tells me when I have done a personal best, and makes me feel proud even if I just ran around the blog. There are several out there including Runkeeper, Mapmyrun, Strava, Endomondo and Nike+ running.
3 Forget about regular January 1 New Year and go for Chinese New Year instead.
This falls on February 8, so you have plenty of time to make plans, make space and commit. 2016 is the year of the Monkey. To be more specific, it’s the year of the Red Fire Monkey. Traditionally Chinese New Year was held before farm work began again, and was a time of preparation for the year ahead. Sounds good to us, and we always like an excuse to eat some tasty Oriental dumplings.
4 Make better resolutions.
I mean ones that are in the context of doing what you love, not goals in a vacuum. If you need help with this try our free New Year’s Revolution toolkit.
5 Remind yourself that change takes time, and commitment, and baby steps.
Overnight successes don’t really happen overnight. So get clear on the changes you want to make, but be realistic about how you are actually going to make them happen. If you need help with this try our free L.E.A.P. 10-day mini-course on taking action
6 Be less extreme.
Quitting something altogether is a bold move, but is an awful lot harder than cutting back, or cutting something out slowly. (But if you really want to be bold, go for it. The stakes are higher, but so are the rewards. And if it doesn’t work out, try again. You might like this piece from Forum for the Future on how to make success out of failure.)
7 Make a conscious effort to change the patterns in your day that put you in the way of temptation.
If your resolution is to do with eating less cakes, take a different walk home so you don’t walk past the cake shop etc. It’s obvious, but one of those things we so often forget to do!
8 Join us for the Do What You Love e-course starting next Monday, where you will be part of a community of people from all over the world, carving out their personal path towards doing what they love at work, and in the rest of their life.
If you are looking for a new direction, want a new challenge or feel like it’s time you took control of your life again, this is the course for you. I am hands on during this five week course, and am there for you every step of the way. Here’s a short video about the course if you want to know more:
You can still register here but hurry, class begins on Monday January 18! (Note: This is the last time this class will run until late 2016).
Be kind to yourself this year!
Beth and team