Making a New Year’s Resolution that Sticks part 2

STEP 2: Generating Ways to Reach your Goal

Now that you’ve decided on a goal or resolution, you need to figure out how you are going to achieve it.  For example, if your goal is better health, will you focus on losing weight, changing your eating or exercise? At this point, you want to generate as many possible solutions or routes to your resolution as possible.  Spend a little time brain storming different ways to proceed. Try to resist the urge to reject ideas.  Tell yourself that “quantity breeds quality.”

STEP 3:  Evaluating How to Reach Your Resolution

Now is the time to look at what you expect to happen if you begin on your resolution.  Think about what you expect for both in the short term and long term. If you come up with negative consequences (i.e. I’ll start and then lose interest), ask yourself how you might overcome those obstacles. If you find yourself coming up with reasons why every course of action is doomed to fail, take a look at why you might be throwing roadblocks in the way of getting where you want to go.

STEP 4: Choose a Solution

Now that you’ve chosen a resolution and evaluated different ways to get there, it’s time to choose one way. The goal is to implement a course of action that has some likelihood of working.  Take some time to trouble shoot your solution.  Think of all the possible ways it could go wrong and what you can do if it does.

STEP 5: Acting on your Resolution

Go over where, specifically in your day to day life you will do something differently.  What exactly will you do different.  With the example from before of better health, you may decide that you need to shop for foods differently and buy more vegetables and cut them up for handy eating when you get back from the store. You will need to make sure that you have time for vegetable preparation after grocery shopping.

Remember:  people who achieve their goals are not the people who face the least amount of failure.  They are the people who fail and get up and try again.

Making a New Years’ Resolution that Sticks

STEP 1: Choosing a Goal

The first step in making a resolution that sticks is to choose a goal to which you are truly committed. 

To have staying power, a resolution or goal generally needs to solve a problem. Gaining insight into your life is rarely sufficient to effect permanent change. Instead, a goal must be chosen that involves an active attempt to generate changes in how you behave.  In order to identify a goal, ask yourself the question “what would have to change to improve my life?” If you have a particular problem you are facing, you may ask “what would have to change to solve this problem or for the situation to improve?”

If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, you may ask family and friends for ideas on possible goals.  If you discuss them together, look for the means by which you might attain them. Often you may identify a problem, but be unsure as to the solution.  For example, you may be unhappy with your current work situation, but you are not sure if you want to quit your job, go for a promotion or stay where you are. If this is the case, set a goal that will help determine which coarse of action would be best.  In the previous example, your steps towards achieving your goal may include asking your supervisor what he or she would be looking for in someone to promote.  You may also want to explore career options that utilize your skill set or education programs in your areas of interest.

Remember, the purpose of step one is to identify a goal that you’re committed to working on. Don’t choose something that others perceive as a problem, but you do not.  You won’t stick to it. Try to choose something that really does solve a problem that you are currently facing.