In my mind, there is no such thing as a New Year's Resolution.
I don't believe in choosing a special day every year to make changes in my life, I believe in making changes the moment I see a need. Therefore, change is not something I do once a year - it is my lifestyle.
How often do we wait for the "right moment" to work towards a happier us and improve our lives? Why do we wait to do what's right?
The answer isn't what you want to hear: you don't really want to change.
You want all the benefits of what change will bring but you know that change is hard, so you set a start date to work towards something you do not value - and the research shows it. According to Sadie Dingfelder, 60% of people will drop their resolutions by June.
But maybe you're apart of the 40% that hang in there, so I've put together a few tips to start you on your new lifestyle of change and keep you going long past the next 50 New Years of your life.
1 ) Be prepared to change your resolution or goals.
This is probably the most important one on this list.
We often set goals with little idea of what they require and their end results, and because of that I've found that we typically should revisit and alter most of the goals we set.
The problem is we often feel like we have failed if we do not accomplish a goal, but if the end goal does not serve us well why continue to work towards it? For example, if you have a goal to own a restaurant you may decide to work at a restaurant for a few months. Shortly after, you decide you hate the restaurant industry. Deeper discovery of goals is like dating overtime - we eventually tend to uncover deficiencies in skill set and desire. Once you get a real picture of what your life looks like post-goal you may decide that you like your life better the way it is now and that's okay!
Set all goals with the expectation that you may decide to go in a different direction or that a month from now it may not be something that brings value to your life.
The key here? Always put a new, improved goal in it's place and use goals to discover what you want your life to be like and what more you need to learn to reach your goals.
2) Write it down.
According to GoalBand.Co people with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve them, so be sure to put your goals on paper. They also explain why is writing it so powerful: on average there are 1,500 other thoughts in your head happening per minute.
My advice: create a vision board and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Vision boards allow us to tap into the power of our subconscious mind, by not allowing us to forget all the things we promised ourselves this year.
3) Attach your goals to something you are already doing.
This article on Psychology Today explains the brain science behind creating new habits, but I'll save you some time. The idea is that in order to create new habits, you need to create new neural pathways. The pathway of least resistance is to attach new things to old habits. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 lbs by May and you decide that to start you will eat healthier and walk 10 minutes a day. On an average day, you probably spend about 3 minutes walking to and from the lunch room so you could add an additional 10 minutes for walking when you're headed to lunch. Instead of creating a new neural pathway on it's own, you simply altered one that was already in place.
It's much easier to adapt small changes when they are embedded in your current daily habits. Choose something that you already have implemented to get closer to your goal, and then add to it.
So whether you choose to make a New Year's Resolution or just do some goal setting - use these tips to go above and beyond your standard of accomplishment this year. Remember that your worth as a person is not dependent on your accomplishments, but that your ability to improve other's lives is and you can maintain a healthy view of goals.
Best of luck to you all and Happy New Year!
Gabriella Payne builds teams and communities through inspiration and strategic confidence development. She works with universities, athletic teams, and corporations to help students and recent graduates transform their mental thought patterns by teaching new, healthier habits. She is also an advocate for the prevention of domestic abuse and teaches a series called "See It Coming".