Karl Henry: Six tips to create a new plan for a new you — and stick with it
Well done, you survived! The festive season is officially over. It’s time to recognise that the jeans definitely feel tighter and those desserts and nights out over the last few weeks have certainly made a difference. But fear not, we are going to draw a line in the sand and move forward today.
In today’s column, I am going to give you the ultimate guide on how to set your very best goals and put together some resolutions that actually last. No more short-term quick-fixes this year, it’s time to put together your New Year, New You plan.
Get out your pen and paper and let’s get working towards the very best new you that you can be.
1 Why do you want to change?
This is the most important change that so many people forget to even think about. It’s the foundations upon which any long-term change is built upon. Spend a few minutes thinking about why you want to make changes: what is making you want to make these resolutions? How do you feel now? How will your resolutions make you feel? Are you doing it for you or someone else?
2 What do you want to change?
Okay, so now you have the why. Let’s look at what you actually want to change. I want you to make this as specific as you can — vague just won’t cut it. Exactly what are you aiming to achieve at the end of your goal and what changes are you going to make to your lifestyle at home and in work to help you get to this goal?
Lists are the best way to do this. Firstly, make the list of whatever you can think of and then go back over that list and place them in order of importance from 1-5. This is your real list of New Year’s resolutions.
3 How much time can you commit to this change?
So, here is the second most important component of long-term change. The amount of time you have available in your life to make these changes must align with the changes you want to make.
Big goals are fantastic, but they are only fantasy unless you have the time to make them happen. Whatever you can fit into your life is great, whether it’s four 30-minute walks a week or seven. Once it works for you, you are on the right track.
4 How are you going to measure this change?
Now you have the foundations built, it’s time to look at the measurement. I always recommend to my clients that they should measure some component of their goals once a week, with seven days in between that time-frame.
It doesn’t really matter what you change, as long as that measurement will begin to improve with effort and will improve as you work towards your goals.
5 How long are you going to give yourself to do it?
What is your time-frame for making this goal happen? Often people try to make it happen too quickly, setting themselves up for failure. Slow and steady always wins the race here, so set an overall time-frame and then work back from that, giving yourself monthly and weekly targets each week to ensure that you hit these goals.
Remember, any product that makes it look too easy or promises amazing results in a short space of time is normally one that you should avoid. Health, real health, takes time and hard work, that is the only way to make it last in the long run — trust me.
6 Make it visible
My final tip is my favourite. Make your goals visible. Place them at your desk, in your car, in your diary or even as a screen saver on your phone. Making them visible activates the subconscious mind and helps you to stay focused for longer.
I have my personal and my business goals in the front of my diary, so each day I get to see them and ensure what I am doing helps me work towards those goals.