Happy New Year! We have arrived in 2022, and what an exciting year ahead. Over the festive break you may well have considered some resolutions or goals for the new year. Changes you would like to make, improvements about yourself, or perhaps you simply switched off and are now considering some resolutions now as we enter our first month of a brand new year.
Whilst January remains dark and cold, without any of the festivities to lift us, it's a great month to lay a foundation for the year ahead, to start strong, and get going with a bounce, and use it as an opportunity to look ahead and think about the year that’s in front of us, if you haven't already done so. Life is about you sitting in the driving seat, and if you aren't sitting in the driving seat then everyone else around you will drive your life for you, whilst you coast along without any clear direction. Yes I'm blunt, but it's also true. So what are your plans and accountable goals, in order to have a sense of clarity and direction for the year ahead? . And how do we ensure we stick to our resolutions and goals as the year progresses?
So many people enter the new year with resolutions or goals, however statistics suggest that nearly a quarter of Britons who made a resolution for 2020 failed to keep them. (YouGov), with health related resolutions being the dominating area.
The behavioural psychology as to why so many don’t follow them through is that they are too vague, not specific, and have no actions or accountability set against them. A goal to ‘exercise more’, ‘lose weight’ or 'earn more money' are easy ways to set yourself up for failure, as they lack ways to track progress, and are unlikely to keep you motivated throughout the year. If you are looking to set a resolution, try making it specific, with a deadline, and then create a plan on how you will do it, with some accountability. Yes, be SMART. Literally and actually using the SMART acronym, as I'm sure you have come across already.
Likewise, if your resolution is less tangible, and is a change in self, a self development tweak or mindset shift, how can you observe the change in yourself as the year progresses? You may not need to wrapper these kind of resolutions and changes in yourself with a goal orientated objective measuring tool such as SMART, but how do you become self aware as to your changes? Perhaps journaling, or a quarterly litmus test check in tool, such as the one below, to see where your small incremental changes have impacted your life in different areas. The Wheel of Life is an extremely useful coaching tool that allows you to 'check in' on your life and current goals, address imbalance, helping you to create goals and priorities based on your life vision and how you want your life to look. Do you know your life vision? I mean really know? If not, then get to work on putting pen to paper.
But anyway, back to wrapping some specific measurement around more tangible goals and resolutions for the year to keep you sticking to them. Any goal should also be attached to a value, giving you your WHY as to why you want to do it. If we take a simple example such as ’exercise more', we can break it down as below:
1. SPECIFIC - Be able to run a half marathon race as a focus for fitness & improvement in order to feel energised, healthy & more confident. (goal attached to positive values). I will complete half marathon by summer 2022.
2. MEASURABLE - Each week stick to half marathon training plan in order to meet goal and feel good each week, mentally & physically. I will know I have achieved my goal when I have completed my goal by summer 2022.
3. ACHIEVABLE - I will find a Training plan, add scheduled training regime to diary, look out gym kit and start January 1st 2022. (make sure your goal is achievable for you, and not too lofty that it becomes unachievable, & make actions to make it achievable).
4. REALISTIC - I can commit to this training regime each week (ensure you have the time & energy to complete your goal)
5. TIMELY - Start training week commencing 3rd Jan. Book half marathon race on 28th May 2022 (example organised race date)
- Add reminders in phone or paper based diary/ calendar to alert me of my new regime on (x) specific days, at (x) specific time.
- Gym gym kit placed by my bed each night. (Environmental trigger)
- Write a post it note and place it by my bed to remind me to do this in order to create this new habit. (the goal deadline & actions that say WHEN you are going to do it all and make a start and hold yourself accountable)
Any new habit, as per behavioural psychology, requires a habit marker (starting in small steps), and then creating triggers (gym kit being left out night before by bed/ phone reminders of training plan) that will aid the facilitation of the new habit that will help you to achieve your goal. A trigger is the cue that helps you to carry out the habit, because motivation alone is never enough. For anyone. Period. Hence why we all need them.
And once you have achieved your goals that are attached to your values, and you look back in December 2022, you’ll be looking back feeling proud and satisfied with the year that you’ve had, and the implemented changes you have made in your life, that have made you a happier and more fulfilled person.
If you are looking for any help to set goals, or to follow them through, to create a life vision for yourself, or to seek help on discovery of the changes you would like to make in your life, even if you don’t know what they might look like right now, then book a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call, where I can answer any questions you may have about coaching, and you can meet me personally to get a feel for if we are a good fit to work together, and we can thrash out what life could look like for you with the help of Coaching. Simply click on the 'Work With Zoe' tab at the top of the page and book a time slot that works for you for a 30 Minute Chat. Also check out the testimonials page to see how Coaching has impacted others just like you. : )
Coaching is about the future you and the future life you have always wanted. Is this the year of the ultimate you?
Wishing You An Incredible 2022!
Zoe Phillipa Hamilton
The Human Transformation Coach
Strong Mind. Strong Body. Strong Life.