You are probably toying with the idea of making some sort of a beneficial change to your behavior at the beginning of 2011 under the pretext of a "New Year's Resolution". Or perhaps you are in that group that has had such a tough time keeping your past resolutions that you have "given up giving up".
In order to help you keep your resolution I would like to offer the following tips (please keep in mind that in preparation for this post I read dozens of articles on the subject and have condensed the information to this short, actionable list.)
- Are you ready?- If you are in denial or maybe just ambivalent about your need to change or you do not fully accept the importance of the change, then you will not succeed. You need to identify the barriers to change and visualizes the "you with the change".
- Preparation- Write down your goals, make sure that they are realistic. Then break the goals into actionable steps.
- Take Action- Now you are ready to start. Be sure that your energy is used toward the successful completion of your goal. Form a social support network by telling others what your goals is and what your strategy is to reach it. Ask them for support.
- Reward Success- Don't wait until you have reached your final goal to celebrate. Be sure to enjoy the minor victories as well. If you made it to the Y 3 times in a week, celebrate!
- Reduce Other Stresses- Changing a behavior creates stress, and if you are trying to make that change in an already stressful environment, then you are going to have a reduced ability to make good decisions.
- Prepare for Setbacks- You are going to hit some snags and have some relapses. That is a natural part of the process so don't get too down on yourself. Identify the triggers and develop a strategy to avoid them in the future.
- Enjoy the NEW YOU- Enjoy the change. Tell folks about it, brag, celebrate, do whatever it takes to make the change a real long lasting part of your life.
Here are a few of the articles that I used in writing this post: