5 Tricks for Turning Resolutions into Personal Revolutions
It’s that time of year again. Time to make resolutions. Time to envision the changes you will make to live a better, healthier, happier life.
A resolution is only a wish until you find a way to measure your progress. Change a resolution into a personal revolution by clearly defining your expectation and marking your progress with five easy-to-master tricks.
1. Make it Measureable
When you said that you want to Get into Shape, what you really meant was to get more exercise by moving more and sitting less. You can either measure the amount of time spent sitting at your desk on the computer or measure how frequently you move. For example, resolve to get up and walk around the office every 40 minutes or resolve to take the stairs every day when you go to lunch. Track your progress on your calendar and set reminders for yourself as needed.
2. Swap Bad for Good
The idea of eating healthier is great; it’s the follow-through that’s often lacking. Many people make the mistake of resolving to do less of something (eat less fast food, give up sweet snacks) they love without filling that void with something satisfying and healthier. Go ahead and ax the bad things from your life, but insert something better in its place. Swap that cookie with your afternoon coffee for something that is sweet, satisfying and healthy, like an apple or an orange. If you plan to give up negativity, you will succeed more frequently by training yourself to turn a negative thought into a positive statement. Instead of thinking, “I hate going to work in the rain,” say to yourself, “I dislike driving to work in the rain, but I love the soft sound of rain on the windows at the office.”
3. Talk About It
The American Psychological Association recommends talking about your goals with family and friends. Naming your intentions creates accountability. If you need help with a big resolution, such as quitting smoking or drinking less, find a support group so you have the help of others who have had similar struggles. The APA states, “Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.”
4. Create an Action Checklist
If you set a financial goal to save money every month, you must begin with a list of ways in which you can save that money. Create a list of action items to reduce your monthly expenses.
- Call the cable company and cancel premium channels
- Drop your gym membership and find a walking club instead
- Leave earlier and skip the toll roads three days per week
As you accomplish each of the small goals that comprise your larger goal of saving money each month, check the item off your list.
The action checklist is especially good if you want or need to find new employment in the new year. What steps will you take to find a new job? Will you make 5 new connections per day on LinkedIn? Will you send resumes to your contacts to ask if they know someone to whom they can refer you? By defining the action that you need to take to make big changes happen, you break a huge wish into manageable portions.
5. Change the Way You Talk
No, you don’t need to affect a British accent. You do need to change the way in which you talk about your resolutions. If you make your resolutions sound like a list of negatives, “don’t eat that,” “avoid junk food,” or “don’t let the house get filthy,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Speaking positively to yourself, however, will change the way you feel about your resolutions and place a positive spin on the changes you want to make. Instead of saying, “I can’t eat those donuts,” say, “I don’t eat donuts but I will eat an apple or a banana because they are good for my body.”
Finally, make your lifestyle support the change. Most people who are overweight choose a lifestyle that supports being overweight by engaging in sedentary activities or by making poor food choices. People that save and invest regularly make financial choices that enable them to set aside and invest more of their earnings.
If you want to live in a house on a hill, you cannot build your home in a valley and wish for the hill to appear. Don’t make the same mistakes with your resolutions. Surround yourself with the tools and incentives that will allow you to make your changes stick…to create a revolution in your life.13