It's no secret many of us have a ridiculously hard time achieving our New Year's resolutions. According to the website Statistic Brain, only eight percent of people who make resolutions in the new year successfully realize them.
Is it a resolution or is it a goal?
Let's get clear on the definition of a resolution, because in many cases resolutions are confused with goals - and these nuances are important to this conversation. That said, a resolution is a permanent change to your life, but if you're looking to achieve something specific, then it's a goal. Resolutions and goals are generally born from a bigger vision you have for your life.
If we're likely to fail, why bother?
With such a high failure rate, it is a wonder we continue the tradition of proclaiming resolutions in the new year. But we do so because resolutions are a way to give meaning to our lives. When we tell ourselves and those around us we want to attain something, we're saying aloud that we absolutely have faith in the betterment of ourselves and the world at-large.
Resolutions, goals, planning - this is how we make things happen, it's how we get things done. Because the flip side of all this is that we stay stuck, which means we continue down a familiar road of frustration, discontentment, and so many other negative emotions.
Staying the course
So when mid-January arrives - which is when most resolution-setting people abandon that shiny new declaration of doing or being - and your motivation starts slipping, how will you turn it around?
One way to stay in the resolution game is to work with a certified life coach. When you work with a coach, you can transform your inertia into action, and break through your self-sabotaging patterns and behaviors so you can stand in the fulfillment of your resolution.
Here are 7 ways you and your coach can work together:
1. Discover your vision
When it comes to your resolution, have you asked your heart or your head what it is you're truly after? A life coach can help you turn your attention inside so you can get exceedingly clear on your vision and what's truly possible for you and your life. This isn't a time to play small and safe. Your coach can help you dive deep to uncover what it is your heart longs for.
When it comes to living your best life, remember this: Your head never gets you where your heart longs to go. Work with a coach to fully recognize everything that's possible for you, and to zero in on your vision. Bringing your vision to the forefront of your awareness will make it easy to then set a resolution or goal that brings you closer to your vision.
2. Define measurable goals for best results
The more vague your resolution, the less chance you have of reaching it. It's reported that among the top 10 resolutions set each year are to lose weight, fall in love, spend less, and get organized. Admirable resolutions, but not specific.
So, let's say your resolution is to get in shape. When you work with a coach, you'll break that resolution down into goals. Ambiguity is not welcome here. Goals will become specific, measurable, actionable, and set in real time. For example, your resolution of getting in shape becomes:
Goal - Reduce BMI by five percent by the end of April.
See the difference?
3. Set and take clear action steps
As you gear up to fulfill your resolution, and now your goal, you may realize you don't know where to start. Your life coach will guide you to your inner wisdom, which is that quiet voice inside your own head that you often ignore.
In coaching, that's the voice you'll turn to over and over. When you refer to and trust this internal wisdom, putting into place action steps, practices, and structures to support this next best version of yourself or your life will come easier. It's these small actionable items that move you closer to your resolution.
So now we break down the goal of getting in shape like this:
Action step 1: Eliminate sugar from diet by end of January
Action step 2: Run two miles five times a week
Action step 3: Strength train twice a week with a personal trainer
4. Stand strong against the desire to give up
Even with well-defined action steps and a resolution that sets you on fire, you'll have moments of wanting to throw it all away so you can snuggle in with Netflix and a bag of potato chips - or whatever your nemesis is.
When your will starts to wane, this isn't the time to beat yourself up or decide you aren't worth your own dreams. With the help of your life coach, you'll learn to take a breath and instead of getting frustrated, get fascinated. Because this is where the good stuff starts to happen. This is where the transformation can take place because now you'll start to sort out and understand those non-serving choices and patterns so you can make true and lasting change.
5. Educate yourself emotionally
When you reach the make-it or break-it point of your resolution, your coach will teach you tools and concepts to help you understand why you operate the way you do. In essence, you'll receive an emotional education.
Because when you understand your non-serving emotions and why they exist, you can start to shift them. You'll get a grip on your resistance to certain areas of your life. You'll identify all your favorite excuses that you use to hold yourself back. You'll see how you can move negative, toxic, and disempowering thoughts into positive, light-filled, and empowering action. You will learn how your lack of responsibility and disempowering choices are making you feel and play small.
Your coach will guide you take a close look at your past experiences that caused you to form unconscious commitments or long-held beliefs you carry about yourself or the world. You can stop blaming and judging yourself and others, and just get down to work.
6. Embrace the truism that every single choice matters
There's no such thing as a small choice, or a choice that matters just a little. If your resolution is to get your life organized, then tossing your mail on the kitchen table when you come in the door or ignoring a tax deadline isn't going to get you closer to your vision of order. If you want to find love in the new year, isolating yourself with a new book and a bottle of wine on a Saturday night isn't a choice that's going to help. And having just a handful of potato chips is a choice that will move you further away from your goal of losing weight.
But here's the thing: If you find you're making choices that sabotage your resolutions, your coach can help you get to the bottom of why you're making decisions that are in direct opposition to your resolution. And once you understand how and why your choices are out of alignment with your stated vision and goals, then you can start to make new, empowering choices.
7. Own your successes
On the road to your resolution, you may fall down. When you do, you can get back up and do so with more clarity and more determination. That's huge, and you need to acknowledge it. In fact, you should recognize each victory, pat yourself on the back every time you make a choice that moves you forward, celebrate when you hit each milestone. Bask in the positivity and empowerment of your wins.
For those times when you can't see all the work you've done and the ways you're transforming, your coach will be there to reflect your new self back to you, to remind you how far you've come. Your coach is your cheerleader and the pit bull for your dreams. So even when you can't see your successes or remember why you set that resolution in the first place, your coach will be by your side to offer space, support, and tools for the life-changing work you're doing.
Ready to reach your resolutions? Get in touch today for a free coaching session!