In my coaching practice, this is not uncommon, so let me shed some light on the process of planning for the new year, or what everybody else calls, ‘New Years Resolutions.”
To start, the biggest thing people lack when it comes to a New Years Resolution is clarity.
Clarity is not, “I will lose 40 lbs this year.”
Clarity is, “I will workout 3x per week,” and then proceeding to schedule it into your daily planner, or finding a partner in crime and planning your days with that person.
You should really aim to focus on actionable factors, things that you can start doing today or tomorrow and not something that will be the result of those actionable factors three months from now.
The second biggest thing people lack though is commitment.
It’s not our fault really, we all deal with these societal pressures, that can really impact our thinking and judgement. We may for instance assume that society wants us to make more money or lose weight — 2 of the most common resolutions I see in my work — so logically we state to our peers that this is what we’re going to do this year.
But is it meaningful? So meaningful that you feel strongly in your ability to commit to it? If I asked you on a scale of one to ten, just how confidently you felt you could complete a behavior would you shout back at me, “a nine or a ten!?”
Today I’m unleashing a new tool, one I’ve been using with clients for years now but never made into a pretty PDF.
This tool, exercise or worksheet, whatever you want to call it, basically addresses a number of different factors.
- It lets YOU decide and reflect upon what YOU think is holding you back the most from achieving your resolutions each and every year, or possibly just your most recent weight-loss goal. Not what I may (as a coach) believe you need to work on or develop.
- It lets you rank those factors and clarify what you think is the biggest factor, or the most impactful factor holding you back from your objectives.
- It shows you how to spin those habits or behaviors into positive light by creating a positive replacement habit, or by creating positive and realistic limitations on those factors holding you back the most.
- Then it shows you how much you feel you can commit to each factor on a scale of one to ten, thereby assigning a number value to an otherwise qualitative metric for improved clarity.
- If you can commit to something outright at a nine out of ten level or higher, then circle it even, those are the factors you want to focus on.
- Then you get to re-rank all these new positive spin factors, and clarify which ones you can A) Commit the most time to and B) which are impacting your goals the most.
Please read the instructions on the front page before taking 10 minutes of your time today or tomorrow to work through this.
Once you clarify and determine how much you are willing to commit, try to learn this new skill, adopt a new habit or modify the behavior. Please, I highly encourage you change one thing, only ONE AT A TIME. Focus on this one factor for 21 days — typically the minimal amount of time as deemed by research on the science of change — so that you increase the likelihood of your success and move onto a new behavior once this one has become an ingrained pattern. If it doesn’t quite stick you can always come back to it for another cycle.
I also highly recommend that you work through this on your own, then go through it with a coach who may be able to provide realistic feedback on how to word the positive spins better, provide additional clarity by asking more questions and providing a mentor-like experience.
For a more guided process, please see the Habit Commitment Chart as an example of some of the behaviors that I’ve found to have the biggest bang for your buck.