12 Days of Resolutions for The New Year – A Guide for Success
If you have ever set resolutions on New Year’s Day (with a hangover), you will know that you have an 80% chance of failure. Failure creates stress and self-esteem issues, and leads to a downward spiral. In order to make changes, we don’t need to make resolutions, we need to find new solutions. In this way we can harness stress and build self-esteem.
There are two rules before you begin . . .
- Change NOTHING for the next 12 days, just follow the suggestions below
- Re-read your notes each day before doing a new task
Change nothing I hear you say, what’s that all about?
Preparation is the key, get yourself a notebook and write down the answers to these 12 questions.
No-one needs to see your musings, just let your thoughts free-flow onto the paper, draw diagrams/doodles, or whatever works for you. Dedicate some time to this daily, until you have no more thoughts to note down.
Day 1 – Write
Write down your thoughts about changing nothing. How did it make you feel? For most of us, it feels weird yet it makes perfect sense. Changing our mindset is the most important part of a change. Start by working on the inner mind and the battle is half won!
Day 2 – No Story
What do you want to change in your life? Write down a comprehensive list. Be honest, state it as it is. There’s no need to swear. Avoid using but, should, would, could, maybe and perhaps. You’re not interested in the ‘story’ (excuses) – only the facts.
Day 3 – Choose
Choose one thing from day 2’s list and begin to focus on it. It’s far easier to work at one task than to change numerous things at the same time.
Day 4 – Permanence
Remember the slogan ‘A puppy isn’t just not for Christmas, it’s for life?’ You want your resolution to result in permanent change, not just a temporary shift.
For example, if you want to lose weight. It’s no good wanting to lose a few kilos and then expect to go back to your previous lifestyle. Are you prepared to put in the effort to make this change happen? Write in great detail about your motivation to achieve this goal today, and what your new lifestyle will be like.
Day 5 – Recap
Recap the days above, and jot down any new thoughts about your resolutions. Make a list of the things you can do to make it happen. Answer the Who, What, Where and How questions.
A note of caution on the ‘who’. Sometimes it’s fabulous to tell others about your goal, however, you may prefer to keep it quiet. Other people have a tendency to undermine you before you even begin! If there is someone who can help you with this goal, someone you trust, a partner or buddy, write down their contact details and set a date to talk to them. Also, take time to list a second and third alternative, and have their details ready in case your first choice doesn’t work out.
Day 6 – Harness Stress
Today, be aware that new goals can be ‘stressful’. As you move out of your comfort zone you are harnessing the power of stress to grow and change. See stress as an ally, not as a foe. When you are feeling stressed about your resolutions, stop and think. What is my reason for this resolution? (See Day 11).
Day 7 – Free
Use today to research a list of FREE alternatives to enable you to achieve your resolutions. There is nothing worse than paying for a gym membership and never going, signing up for an expensive language class and later finding a free online course. Feeling you’ve wasted money to achieve your goal will cause a negative mindset regarding your goal. Avoid that before you begin.
Day 8 – Calendar
Many of us fail at achieving goals because we underestimate the time needed. Have a look at your weekly calendar schedule, and block out the time necessary to achieve your resolution. For example, say losing 12 kg in weight can be done by walking an extra hour per day over 24 weeks. Break down the goal into bite-sized pieces and allow adequate time each day.
Day 9 – Add
Did you know that adding, rather than subtracting something in your life is an easier way to achieve a goal?
For example, some people argue that smoking is not really addictive and that you are in fact addicted to the habit. Instead of focusing on cutting down the cigarettes, ask yourself what can you add to your life that will change the habit? Surprisingly, by adding something you automatically reduce the need for the cigs!
Day 10 – Mind Frick
Take the day to behave as if you have already achieved your goal. Make notes of the ‘mind frick’ going on inside your head as you pretend. Thank your mind for caring and keep strutting your stuff for 24 hours. As you mind gets used to the new you, it will give you less of a hard time.
Day 11 – Simplicity
Recap all that you have written above, and begin to simplify it. The aim of today is to write some concise mantras, like Twitter posts. Use just 140 characters to state your resolutions. Write in the past tense, as if it has already happened. This will become your mantra when times get hard. You can copy it out and place it somewhere where you will see it every day. (Bathroom mirrors work really well!)
Day 12 – Update
Update anything that has come up for you during the last 11 days. Now you are ready and well-prepared to begin your resolution. Tomorrow is Day One of your new life. Keep using these notes as the basis for creating all things better in your life, even for setting new goals in the future.
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