Your New Year success – in 3 easy steps
January is the season for New Year Resolutions and February is the month for mourning their demise. So what do we need to do to set a New Year goal – in our work or our personal life – and stick with it? Here are Bec Development’s top tips…
Around half of us make a New Year resolution each year but as few as 8% are still going strong a year later. A shameful number of us fail to get through January. So try this approach:
Step 1 – choose a resolution that inspires you.
As Bec Development founder and MD, Helen Tiffany explains: “When setting yourself a goal start with ‘I’d really love to…’ rather than ‘I should’ or ‘I ought’. This will help you focus on what’s important to you.”
Secondly, says Helen, connect with the Why. “Identifying your motivation will be the key to maintaining momentum for your goal. This will be the thing that keeps you going.
“Lastly, do what makes you happy. As obvious as that sounds; why make life hard!”
Step 2 – focus on the positive.
Coach, facilitator and author Lynne Cooper, one of the tutors on our Coach House coach training programme, also encourages focusing on positives rather than negatives. “New Year resolutions often focus on what we don’t want – losing weight, drinking less, stopping smoking etc. To achieve the resolution we have to focus on the problem and this just isn’t motivating.
“More helpful is to focus on the bigger goal, or the rewards, for sticking with the resolution. Try asking yourself this question: ‘When you have achieved the resolution, then what happens?’ For example, losing weight might lead to feeling and looking better, which in turn might lead to ‘the confidence to apply for a new job’, or ‘to feel able to go swimming with my kids and have fun’.
“Rather than a resolution you have a meaningful and important goal, which can make all the difference to sticking with it.
“My New Year’s Resolution is to stop doing things I don’t want to do. The bigger goal – to have more fun! This involves being more single minded about spending my time doing things that I enjoy not stuff that I tell myself I ’should’ do!”
Step 3 – go with your energy!
Go with your energy says Dr.Gillian Shapiro, another Bec Development associate, coach and a specialist in organisation development and change projects focused on inclusion and diversity.
As she puts it: “Our personal and professional lives are so busy. With masses of competing priorities sometimes everything seems like a priority and it’s hard to decide where to start first. And then there are all the things you feel you should be doing. In the end, you often end up doing nothing.
“I was coaching a client recently, who was going through large scale, complex change in their organisation. They were finding it tough to prioritise. The breakthrough came when I asked: ‘What do you have energy for?’
“I know I’m the same. My New Year Resolution in 2016 was to exercise more (That’s a new one!), but it wasn’t until after my summer holiday – when I felt more rested and had enjoyed swimming and walking – that I finally felt I had energy for exercise. I sent a text to a wonderful personal trainer, something that I’d been putting off for months, as soon as I got off the plane. I have been loving the sessions ever since.”