Do you know how many people achieve the New Year’s Resolutions they set for themselves? Only 8%, which is a shockingly low percentage! So how do we set ourselves up for success moving into a new year?
If you follow my posts on Facebook and Instagram, you saw one of my favorite verses from scripture, Lamentations 3:22-23. It reminds us that His mercies are new every morning, which reminds me that every day is a new day, filled with new possibilities. My word of the year is contentment, which came from this verse, along with the personal growth I have achieved over the past year. I did not do this alone! I was able to grow through my own life coach and do the deep personal work it takes to process emotions and move forward to make each day count.
As you start setting your goals for the new year, consider looking back to reflect on the past 6 months. What were your accomplishments and what are you most proud of? Celebrating accomplishments helps set the foundation for continued forward progress. Consider the emotions that come to mind when you think about what you have achieved and allow that to motivate you as you cast your vision specific to your hopes and desires.
Did your reflection bring on some negative emotions? I know mine did!! Guilt and regret are real feelings that need to be examined to process, learn, and grow. This leads to diving deeper into the areas you need to forgive yourself to let go and move forward. Deep work takes time and comes with guidance. These posts are meant to provide food for thought, it is up to you to decide what to do with your thoughts, hopes, and desires. It is okay to ask for help, that is what life coaching is all about.
Revisit that word of the year as you set your goals for 2023. The word is meant to be a central theme that helps guide you toward your goals and keep you motivated and on track. Then, take some time to write down your goals using your work as a guide. Healthy habits start small and continue to grow when you take the time and do the work for YOU!
Behavior science tells us that a new habit takes 3 months to form and another 3 months to integrate into a full lifestyle change. This means avoiding overwhelm and setting small achievable goals is critical to success.
Most goals fall to the wayside because the goal is too broad or not broken down into smaller steps to achieve the goal. Consider the couch to 5K approach to starting a running program. We don’t jump off the couch and start by running a mile down the road. The approach is broken into small steps with walk/jog intervals, progressing to jogging and adding distance strategically. Approaching goal setting must have a similar approach. It does not matter if the goal is related to exercise, diet, sleep, stress, or just learning to enjoy moments as they come. The key is breaking down the goal to feed motivation which starts a reward loop.
Reward loops are the fuel that feeds forward progress. When the outcome of a small step is recognized and the benefits acknowledged, this positive reinforcement sets up the desire to keep working. Remember, change is never easy. It takes grit and determination to stay focused and move forward for 3-6 months to establish the new habit as a lifestyle change. But, when you know why the change is important and pay attention to the outcomes of small changes, it feeds the ability to continue to work toward that goal.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions on how to move forward to achieve those goals! Change is possible, but change is rarely easy!