Last week I wrote about making New Year Resolutions that Work. And of course, if they only work for a week they’re not a whole lot of use!
Now I don’t know about you, but the concept “New Year Resolution” feels like yesterday’s news… we’re only 11 days into the New Year but it doesn’t seem so New any more.
In the same way, it’s hard to keep your New Year Resolution feeling fresh and exciting. But it’s crucial – otherwise you won’t be interested.
So here are a three tips that might help:
Recall your inspiration
Say you’ve started learning a new language. It’s easy to get bogged down in vocabulary and tenses. But why were you learning it? To enjoy your summer holiday in an exciting new place? Spending a few minutes imagining the conversations you are going to have can be a great motivator. Then you may find some words you actually want to learn!
So whatever your resolution is, ask yourself why you took it on. Vividly imagine the results you want. Notice the sensations in your body – are you feeling drawn towards your goal?
Change your resolution!
It sounds like cheating, doesn’t it? Of course I don’t mean changing the spirit of it – but some tweaking can really help.
Was it too hard to go for a run every morning? Maybe 3 times a week would be more realistic? If it keeps you engaged it’s far better than failing and losing heart.
On the other hand, maybe practising guitar twice a week isn’t challenging enough? Perhaps it would be more engaging to know you favourite song by the end of the week? Or perhaps it was the wrong song? If you don’t like it so much any more, maybe a new tune would have you practising for hours?
So try adjusting the specifics of your resolution, until you get the feeling of “yes!” – that it’s something you’re feeling drawn to doing.
Pay close attention
My resolution is to be early for meetings with friends. (I’ve got a terrible habit of always being a few minutes late, and I’ve come to realise how selfish that is, to keep other people waiting). I’ve kept a log, and I’m shocked by how often I’m late. That galvanises my efforts.
Yesterday morning I was in really good time, and the experience was delightful. Instead of rushing around like I normally do, I got to enjoy a wonderful morning sky, with some beautiful pre-dawn colours in the clouds. I must do that again!
Paying attention to what happens when I do or don’t keep my resolution really makes a difference to how I feel about it.
So those are my 3 tips for keeping your resolution alive: reconnect with why, tweak the how, and stay alive to the experience of what actually happens. I hope that helps you get to where you really want to go.