This is the first of our New Year’s expert series to help you and your family get on track this New Year! Transition Coach (and mom of two boys), Pamela Smith of Transition and Thrive tells us how to make those resolutions STICK!
Happy New Year! Although many of us couldn’t wait to say goodbye to 2016 and resolved to have a better year in 2017, the statistical reality is that less than 8% of people will stick with their new year’s resolutions. I noticed a trend on social media last month with many people choosing a word of intention for 2017 (or letting a meme generate it for them) but although it was a fun activity to set and share an intention, it often takes more than a word to help us lose weight, get organized, quit smoking or save money. It requires us to change deeply wired habits, make different choices and find a plan that works for our lifestyle. As a transition coach I understand that it most people require more than a word or inspirational quote to make positive, long lasting changes.
Here are a few tools that may help you stay on track for 2017:
Ask for help
Why do we equate asking for help with weakness? So many of us believe that our will or determination is the key to success but I believe that true strength lies in vulnerability. Dr. Brene Brown said that asking for help is one of the bravest things we’ll ever do, and accepting help when it’s offered is taking the first step towards real change. Whether you want to run a marathon, confront substance abuse or leave an unhappy marriage, don’t try to do it alone. Train for that race with your best friend, seek advice from a counsellor or coach, or join a group of similarly focussed strangers in real life or even on the Internet. Asking for help or joining a group can help hold you accountable, motivate you to show up and inspire you to do your best. And more importantly, that group will be there to encourage you to come back even if you encounter an obstacle or veer from your path.
Make one small change every day
Did you wake up on January 1st and vow to be the best version of yourself in 2017? Toss out the chips, pour the wine down the drain and dust off the running shoes? Many people believe that they must change everything in order to improve themselves, but a complete overhaul of habits and lifestyle without a plan or support is just not sustainable for most people. Instead of changing everything all at once, try setting your big vision, share it and then make one small change every day towards reaching that goal. If your intention is to lose weight, commit to a nightly walk with your spouse or make one meal substitution a day. Perhaps you want to spend more quality time with your family this year. One thing we are doing in our house is a family commitment to no screen time for the first hour after waking. See the difference between this commitment instead of saying “No more screen time! We have to spend more time together!” The first is reasonable, the second is reactionary and doomed to fail. Why would you want to set yourself us to fail before you even begin?
Have a theme song
As I mentioned above, it is my belief that it will take more than a word or a motivational quote on social media to keep on track with your goals. Those words and quotes might get you started on your path or through a tough time, but they will not bring about long term, sustainable change. Creating a vision, asking for help, setting reasonable goals, making small changes and celebrating milestones will be much more effective. And having fun, because change is hard but it can also be fun! A personal passion of mine is music and if I’m feeling stuck or unmotivated, frozen by fear or anxiety I turn up my theme song – yes, I have a theme song, just like a TV sitcom – and get out of my head for a while. My theme song helps me to get motivated, stay focussed and never fails to make me smile. What’s your theme song for 2017 and what’s it going to take to help you get it out?
Transition coaching can help you find the song that lives within each of us and live a life filled with purpose, grace and confidence. Contact me today for a complimentary 45 minute session via Skype or in person. firstname.lastname@example.org