How to Get the Most Out of Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions can be a fantastic way to take stock and see what changes we’d like to make in our lives.  But, often, we trip ourselves up by putting too much weight on January 1st. We create an image in our heads of ‘Old Me’ and then we make a list of resolutions that will create ‘New Me - and we plan to dive into it with gusto when the New Year arrives! We resolve to network better, get in shape, and create a higher profile.  But, without realizing it, we’ve heaped way too much on the back of January 1st.  We’ve made it into The Day We Will Miraculously Attain All of Our Goals At Once!

But what we need is a plan for actualizing smaller goals that move us towards the attainment of our larger goals. But most of us don’t have that plan¾which is why the gym is packed on January 1st but empty again by January 15th. People who have never worked out before resolve to work out every day, but they quickly find they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. If their plan had been more manageable—like working out twice a week—success might have been more readily available.

This is not to say that the grand goals cannot be accomplished—they can! But if you set smaller goals that can be achieved, your body creates a kind of muscle memory around that success and then seeks that success out in other ways. But if your goals depend on plans that are bound to fail, your body creates muscle memories around failure and then¾oh no!¾seeks out more of that failure. Small accomplishments beget larger ones.  This is about re-training ourselves for success.

I would challenge each of us to do something—today! Do something that gets the ball rolling on 2017.  That way there is no ‘Old Me’ and ‘New Me.’ It’s simply You. You, finding ways to actualize your goals.

If you have a project or possibility in your head, begin to tackle it now. I mean right after you are done reading this post. What is one thing that you could do towards your goal that you can accomplish in 5 minutes?

You might say to me, “That’s the problem, this is too big of an idea!” And I say that is exactly why it is so vexing.  It is not yet manageable.  Can you spend 5 minutes writing out the small steps that you might take towards your goal?  And if you accomplished this task of outlining the steps, would you have a clearer vision of what you need to do towards your goal? My guess is, yes.  

So, write down one accomplishable action item and complete it today. Then on January 1st, if the gym is packed, just smile to yourself and know that you will have your pick of machines on the 15th.

Happy New Year!

Alexandra Phillips