I cannot believe we are already in the last month of 2016. This has been my fastest year ever. While I love reflecting on the major events of the past year, I also like to consider what the new year holds. Tis the season for holiday decadence, so let’s all promise to enjoy, without judgment, our favorite indulgences for the next few weeks while also planning for a health-tune up in the new year.
Let’s assume with the anticipation of new year health goals we are in the contemplation stage of change. This is the time we consider what the future may hold for us. Spending time in contemplation is a good place to be, as opposed to the “jump in without a life preserver” type of decision making that often comes when we set a new goal. What happens when we set a goal is that our brain is flooded with happy chemicals. It feels so good just to declare our intention that the work of actually making it happen goes by the way side. If you really want to succeed you need a road map to navigate your way through the change process.
Road Map to Success
- Select your focus for change- be specific. Sure, loosing weight, saving money or staying in better touch with friends are great goals, but they are not specific enough. Be creative with your focus statements and brainstorm several until you land on the one you want to begin with.
- Connect with your reasons why this change matters. If you cannot tell me how your life will change if you are successful with this goal, you are much less likely to stay committed. What do you care about and how does this goal reflect those values? Bring as many positive outcomes to light when considering the impacts of your change.
- Clarify the barriers to success, or more specifically- where and how are you most likely to fail? Idyllic thinking is a beautiful practice for daydreaming, visualizing, and creativity, but not planning for failure is like going into the woods without a compass, first aid kit, headlamp, and water. You are probably going to get lost and struggle when the going gets tough.
- Plan for the failures in ways that are realistic to you and your current lifestyle. This, again, needs to be specific. You have to be honest with yourself and learn from the process. What do you know about yourself from past experiences? Change requires trial and error so you can adjust your sails and rework the plan along the way.
- The final step is to account for yourself throughout the journey. What worked? What didn’t? Does the goal still feel important enough or does it need to be modified or changed completely?
One of my greatest passions is supporting people through the change process, so if you find yourself curious about this road map and would like a partner on your journey into the new year, I am here for you! Just click the GET STARTED tab on the home page of the website.