Sound familiar? I thought so. For people all around the world, the end of a year brings time for reflections and(many) resolutions.
The truth is, you haven’t failed: you’ve just hit a hurdle
However, over 70% of the resolutions people make for the New Year are broken by the end of January – which can result in people feeling even more despondent and discouraged than before! So, the question is, how do we make our resolutions last? Last week we spoke to you about making small tweaks in order to make big changes. Now I want to inspire you to keep going, even if you’ve already ‘failed’, because the truth is, you haven’t failed: you’ve just hit a hurdle, so it’s time to get back on track and leap over the rest, one day at a time.
On average, it takes more than two months for a new behavior to become automatic – 66 days to be exact, and that’s just the beginning. Research has shown that it can take up to 6 months for a person to see consistent lasting change in their behaviour. In a world of quick-fix self-help tips and a social media full of perceived ‘perfect lives’ surrounding you, this may not be what you want to hear, but like we’ve said before, change doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time.
Here’s some guidance to ensuring you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions:
Identify your final goal, then start small. As we said last week, small tweaks bring about big change, so make a plan and introduce/reduce behaviours gradually. Remember, building habits is not an all or nothing process.
Remind yourself of your goal on a daily basis by writing it down. This will help you to stay focused.
Prepare coping strategies for how you’re going to deal with any obstacles that arise along the way. Change doesn’t always go to plan, by knowing this, we can prepare ourselves with a maneuver to continue around the obstacle. You may even be able to bypass the obstacle if you identify it before it pops up!
Reward yourself at each milestone. It’s ok to acknowledge and treat yourself if you’ve been doing well (even if you did fall off the bandwagon for a day or two).
Ask for help. Being able to ask for help is a strength, it shows self-awareness and a desire to make change happen. Asking for help can provide an extra level of motivation, encouragement and guidance that you might sometimes need when the going gets tough.