2021 was an interesting year for most of us.
We started to settle into a new normal, having survived some of the most unprecedented times personally and professionally. We thought for sure the pandemic would be over only to find that although a great deal of progress has been made, an epidemic will more than likely be a part of our lives for perhaps years to come.
No matter what the future holds, building sustainable habits of resilience will be needed. As I always say, focus on what you can control or influence and let go of the rest. But how do we do that? It takes good habits of resilience to navigate uncertainty and come out with a sense of calm and, do I dare say, peace.
At this time of the year, it is normal and frankly inspiring to declare new goals or resolutions. However, we all know too well that the odds of achieving these goals or resolutions are quite low.
How do we increase the odds? Do we just give up on the idea of having new goals or resolutions? Or instead, do we take a different approach? Here are some ideas to help you achieve sustainable results.
What is the “why” behind your goal?
To change anything, you must determine the why behind the goal. Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to meet that special person? Why do you want to change careers?
Getting this clear in your mind first is critical – and “best intentions” is not a sound strategy. If you don’t undoubtedly understand the why behind your goal, you will not be motivated to sustain the day-to-day actions required to achieve it.
Describe what this ideal state looks like
Once you have clearly identified the why for your goal, it is time to describe what this ideal state will look like if you achieve your goal.
In our Meaningful Alignment coaching process, we uncover prevailing beliefs that get in the way of our clients achieving the results they want to achieve. Once we put a name to that “roadblock” belief, we reframe it to one that will set them up for success. If you cannot articulate what you would be doing, saying, feeling, and the actions you would be taking after reaching your goal, you are greatly reducing the chance of achieving that goal.
For example, say you want to lose 30 pounds. Start with asking yourself, “What are the day-to-day habits a person who is 30 pounds lighter employs? How would you describe this person’s eating habits? Is exercise a part of this person’s life? If so, how frequently?” Believe it or not, you will find the answers. Your intuition will guide you. And now, you have the best launching pad for success.
Check and measure along the way
Now you’ve made your goals clear: You know your why & You understand what the desired state looks like when the goal is achieved. So, what’s next? It is time to check and measure your progress so that you can course-correct on the spot if needed.
A dietician that I knew told me that one of the reasons (among many) that losing weight was so difficult is that an average person has to make a decision regarding food multiple times a day.
Pretty much everywhere you go, food is placed in front of you, forcing you to decide to eat the item or not. Consequently, You need a guiding light to help you through these multiple times a day. Ask yourself, “If I eat this item, how does it line up with my why? Would the person at my ideal weight choose to eat this item? What would a person at my idea weight choose to do instead? Will consuming this food or drink move me closer to my ideal weight or further away?” Once again, your intuition will guide you to the answers.
Achieving New Year’s Resolutions is not about not knowing the answers. The real issue is that we often don’t want to do what it will take to accomplish these goals – and that is okay too! Permitting yourself not to be your ideal state can be helpful. If you are ready to crack down and set new goals, focus on stopping, being conscious, and asking yourself the questions listed above. Then get started on your path to a better you.
For more encouragement, read “10 Quick Tips to Help You Stick to Your Goals.”
I wish you a truly healthy and happy new year!