- Marie Wetmore
It’s New Year’s. You make a resolution and tell yourself that this year you will finally succeed. You’ll lose weight. You’ll spend more time with your family. You’ll start saying no.
Whatever your resolution is, this is your opportunity to do something differently. Rather than announcing yet another resolution that loses steam before the end of January, turn it into something powerful: a real, achievable goal.
And it will be achievable, with the right strategies. As a life coach, I’ve seen clients achieve things that seemed impossible at first – because they were smart about the approach. Try these five self-coaching techniques and set yourself up for the most successful resolution of your life.
Five Strategies to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution
1. Get crystal clear on what you actually want.
Imagine you’re an archer trying to hit a target. But you’re wearing a blindfold.
For a lot of people, that’s what their resolutions are like. Their goals are vague, so they have no idea what they’re really aiming for. Of course they don’t succeed!
You want a crystal clear vision of your ideal outcome. For example, say you want to “get in shape” in 2013. That’s not very clear.
Now imagine yourself taking walks with your family after work, enjoying a yoga class on the weekends, eating lots of fruits and vegetables every day, and having healthy snacks that actually taste good. That’s getting closer to real vision.
Now imagine preventing the diseases that your parents had, lifting weights so it’s easier to do household chores, and running around with your children without feeling winded. Then throw in a picture of yourself fitting into your goal jeans. Now you’ve got something to aim for.
2. Put the goal in writing and make it SMART.
First of all, a goal that is not in writing is just a wish. But you can’t write just anything down. You should use the “SMART” goal approach. That means narrowing your vision down into a goal that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timelined.
So if the goal is “exercise more.” You might change it to something like this:
“I’m going to exercise a total of five days a week: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays I’ll do an hour-long aerobics class at the gym before work. On Saturdays I’ll go to the 10 AM Pilates class with my sister.”
That’s a SMART goal because you know exactly what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and it’s something you can actually do. Not to mention, it’s so specific that you’ll know when you are achieving it, and when you’re off-track.
3. Now make your goal SMARTLY.
Yes, SMART goals work. But they won’t work if you hate them. I add “LY”– meaning likable and yours.
So, if you can’t stand the gym and find Pilates boring, then scrap those ideas and turn your goal into something you’ll actually enjoy, a goal that’s really, truly yours. Join a roller derby team. Learn ballroom dance. Take tae kwon do. Whatever floats your boat, that’s what you should do.
Once you have a personalized, fun, exciting goal, you’ll want to go after it.
4. Gather your resources.
Before you actually get started with your goal, think about what resources would make the process easier. Everyone needs different resources, but here are the common ones I see: time, money, equipment or supplies, knowledge, expert help, energy, etc.
Write down everything that would make success as easy as possible, and then create an action plan for how you’re going to get those resources. So if you need time and energy to make it to your tae kwon do class, you may need to say no to other commitments, get a babysitter, and start going to bed earlier so you’ll be well rested.
Most people get off-track because they haven’t properly planned for the resources they need to succeed. But if you do plan for them, your likelihood of success skyrockets.
5. Get support.
Achieving a goal on your own can be a slow, lonely road. So make sure you have as much support as possible. Partner up with someone else that’s working towards a similar goal. Check in with your spouse or a friend once a week. Hire a coach, trainer, or some other type of accountability partner. Start a blog. Do anything you can do to build a team of supportive people who are invested in your success.
After all, the more support you have, the more fun the process will be. And an enjoyable goal is an achievable goal.
Those are my favorite strategies. What are yours? Share in the comments below.
Marie Wetmore, life coach for women