Make that goal stick
We know New Year’s resolutions rarely become long-term habits. That’s why we make them over and over each year. MD Anderson says we typically need to make a resolution three times before we take a goal seriously and really try to make it work.
There are five stages to making a change in your behaviour:
- The first is when you realize you know you need to make a change.
- When you weigh the pros and cons of your decision and you think about the times it has fails and the times you have had success.
- Then you make a plan for the future and the pros of new behaviours will triumph over those memories of failures past and you’ll be more interested in moving forward.
- The turning point from idea to action happens and you start living the lifestyle required to make the change. You start going to the gym, eating healthier, taking a break to run up some stairs instead of going for a cigarette break. You’ll feel better as you start initiating change for the better.
- Finally, you have developed a new routine. Don’t get stuck back in your old rut. Take the compliments you start receiving and use them as ammunition to keep going down the better trail.
They also have some tips on how to force yourself through those weak moments:
- Go public with your goal. Tell your coworkers you’re going to quit smoking or start a weight loss blog. We don’t like to let our supporters down and public humiliation is a great motivator.
- Don’t punish yourself for slip ups, reward yourself for achievements!
- Keep a log of your behaviour
- Make realistic goals. Break larger goals down into a series of smaller goals if it helps keep you focused on what needs to happen next. (Goaltender is great for this!)
Good luck with those resolutions!