The first step to keeping any resolution is finding your motivation. If you intend to eat more healthy, quit smoking, lose weight, or be a better spouse, parent, partner or friend, then finding the main motivation to do it will help assure success.
1. If you have health concern and you have been told you must change a habit or make a lifestyle change, then find a motivation to make that change. It might not just be living longer. Perhaps for you it’s being around to see your grandchildren, or your daughter graduate, or perhaps it’s because you have a ‘bucket list’ to accomplish and you need more time.
2. Determine your goals. This is creating a written plan. Make it simple, measurable and have a date to accomplish the goal. An example would be that you want to stop smoking by January 15. When it comes to weight loss, have a realistic goal of losing between 30-50 pounds in a year. To be a better parent, make a list of goals to accomplish with your child. Keep the list to an achievable number. You can always add more as you accomplish your original goals.
3. Make a plan. If you state you want to lose 20 pounds by June to fit into your wedding gown, then formulate a plan of action that will help you achieve slow, steady weight loss of 4 pounds a month. That’s 1 pound a week. Will you need to pre-plan meals? Will you incorporate exercise 3-5 times a week? At this stage you might want to gather information to formulate your plan.
4. Be accountable. This is why coaching is such a hot field! The coach holds you accountable to your stated goals. If you find a buddy to join you in your endeavor, your chances of mutual success will be higher. Consider group coaching or support groups if you have chosen to stop drinking or gambling.
5. Celebrate successes! As a wellness coach, this is the step most people leave out. If you decide ahead of time how you will celebrate the accomplishments of your milestones, you’ll stay more motivated than if you just doggedly stick to your plan. Some examples would be for every 5 pounds of weight you lose, you’ll put some money aside for a trip or new clothes. Perhaps you enjoy movies, so if you follow a healthy diet for a week, give yourself a movie night. If you quit smoking or drinking, maybe a new golf club or running shoes for a month of sobriety will motivate you. Be sure to plan for success is the message.
I wish you a very Happy New Year, full of the accomplishments of your choosing!