February Forward

We are a month into the new year. How are you doing with your resolutions? Over 87% of us make them. Unfortunately, research shows that 45% of people fail to keep their resolutions by February, and only 19% keep them for two years. Lack of willpower or self-control is the top-cited reason for not following through.

The good news is: YOU CAN START AGAIN. Just make today the beginning of your "new year", so to speak. Below are 7 suggestions (adapted from various sources) to help you:

1. Honestly ask yourself why you want to do (or not do) something. Whether your new resolution is to lose weight, exercise, meditate or avoid sugar, ask Why? What is driving you to achieve this goal? When you're clear about your values, your energy matches the drive needed.

2. Articulate your goal(s) in a positive way. Instead of saying, "I want to drink less booze," hear yourself saying "I am going to enjoy more tea or sparkling water in the evenings." Be grateful that you have the options you have; leave negativity behind. You are doing this for a healthier, happier you. There is nothing negative about that.

3. Have your family/spouse/friend/co-worker/life coach be your accountability partner. Allow them to remind you of the goal(s) you have shared with them and that you are serious about working on. Empower them with the ability to call you on weakness or excuses. If your partner is inappropriate or invasive, choose someone else. This could be very fun AND you might end up helping to keep them accountable one day as a favor exchanged.

4. Out of sight, (kinda) out of mind. Remove the pop-tarts or credit cards. Keep no visual reminders of what you want to avoid. But remember to... (#5)

5. Place notecards/PostIts with positive messages where you can see them. Move a scale near the closet (along with a progress sheet and pen). Keep your walking/running shoes in a conspicuous place. Have Alexa or Siri set a daily timer to remind you.

6. Know your triggers ahead of time and think out your actions. For example, if it's Friday night and you don't feel like cooking but the store has a pizza that will microwave in 30 minutes, what are you going to buy instead? It's Saturday morning and cold outside, what is stopping you from bundling up for your jog? Envision your weakest moments as well as the joy of vanquishing them and you will feel the energy of your positivity winning out in the end. If not... (#7)

7. Be compassionate with yourself if you have a setback. A study shows that people who harshly blame themselves for even small willpower failures tend to do worse in accomplishing their goals in the long run. So, if you gorge on M&Ms, relax. Ask yourself what this is filling in you (besides your stomach)? If you don't write your book for 30 minutes that day, find out why and then recommit yourself to the goal. Start again tomorrow.

Need any help articulating goals and/or working on accountability? That's what I do! Click YBLN for a sample of some possibilities that await you and your new self!

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