7 ideas to help your New Year New Me plans succeed
Why do your attempts at New Year resolutions fail? You are enthusiastic about the idea of them, willingly sign up to them in advance but less good when it comes to follow through.
Changing the way you approach these ideas is key to giving yourself a better chance of making meaningful changes stick. How do you develop the capacity to stick with the practice and process of change and make your New Year New Me plans work this time?
Any new way of living takes some getting used to. You are going to have to adapt your lifestyle. It is always easier to keep doing the same thing than to start something new.
Successful adaptations take time; successful adaptations evolve to fit their environments.
Don’t force unrealistic goals on yourself, instead work to see what changes you can make.
Your New Year New Me resolution is going to take a bit of getting used to. Approach this as a process of change, a journey, avoid being overly attached to the idea of the destination.
#1 Think about the long term
Most New Year New Me resolutions fail because we don’t think enough about the process of change we are putting ourselves through. We try to buy into the end goal without thinking about the ongoing process of maintaining the process of change.
We fail because we become too tied to particular numbers of days or months, or because our goals are just too general:
- Lose weight
- Get fit
- Read more
- Be nicer to other people
- Be kinder to yourself
Usually we just can’t wait to finish them. What’s the point of:
- not drinking in January if you are then going to binge again from February onwards?
- trying to throw yourself into an exercise plan that you can’t stick to?
#2 Avoid setting overly ambitious goals
You need to gradually build up your capacity to find out more about what you are capable of and of what of pace of change you can sustain. Only then can you start to see what a realistic goal is.
If you are serious about trying to make the new year less like the old year you need to think for the longer term.
Don’t get overly attached to a predetermined idea of what the end goal is. If you are going to really engage with personal transformation you have to buy into the journey, the day by day experience of what it’s like trying to change your lifestyle.
#3 Don’t rush into it. You need to adjust the pace and tempo of your desire for change, try to take it one day at a time.
Set yourself a set of different goals
It is better to get out of the idea of being fanatical about making important changes quickly. Try to adjust your approach so that you can build up some momentum.
Change is a process, you need to learn how to do it as you do it.
#4 Try to cut out the self-destructive habits to make your New Year New Me project work.
Try not to let your internal critical voice sabotage your intention to develop healthier ways of living and improved relationships.
Challenge yourself, not just with big-ticket resolutions like quit smoking, or drinking, but take on small challenges along the way. Things like reading more, trying to learn a new skill, adopt new habits. Pick a range of things to try. They should be fun and they should take your mind away from just focusing on big resolutions.
You need to make this attempt at change and transformation meaningful, something you can start to get satisfaction from, enjoy the process, don’t measure yourself purely on an unrealistic idea of an end result. You are trying to engage with the process of change.
- Try to increase your self-honesty, become better at holding yourself to account.
- Try to avoid perfectionism. It is really easy to become self-critical and to dismiss what you have achieved.
- Start with a plan, but be prepared to adapt as you go. You are not just giving up a bad habit, you are giving yourself the chance to embrace real transformation.
- Avoid being overly attached to goals. Of course, you have an end goal, but it’s unrealistic to leave yourself waiting for a reward in a month’s time. Notice the small achievements along the way.
The best New Year New Me plans work when you develop a motivating set of ideas that you can take your time over.
#5 take your time
Plan, and then give yourself the chance to refine the plan as you go.
We become so used to thinking that we should get what we want now. We have lost sight of the value of taking our time. A lot of pleasure and satisfaction is gained by being able to work at things, stick at things. When we take our time the rewards are often much greater.
Try to be true to yourself, to the spirit of your wish to change the way you live, work, play, create, and relate to others.
#6 Follow your intuition.
Back yourself, you are attempting to do something new now, that is a brave and bold idea. Don’t get caught up in other people’s negative talk. Other people will always be trying to interfere with your goals and trying to persuade you to fall in line with them. Back yourself now, listen to yourself. Try to take this wish for change and transformation seriously and give it the chance to develop.
#7 don’t try to force yourself into doing things you don’t want to.
The satisfaction of developing the capacity to stick with the practice and process of change is the real prize.
Working with Toby Ingham
I am a UKCP registered psychotherapist, and an APECS qualified coach, and I have been working with people for 20 years.
I have built up a track record of success in helping people achieve their New Year New Me goals, helping them engage with;
- what they would like to change about their lives
- what they would like to achieve
- what stops them developing their ideas and potential further
- what needs to happen to help them make a change
Contact now for a free telephone consultation to see how my work can help you achieve your New Year New Me goals.