I know that many of you are feeling under pressure to decide upon and declare your New Year’s Resolutions.
It’s the first thing people ask around the table on New Year’s Day and with everyone feeling over fed and over fuelled by alcohol 🍷 and Christmas pudding , the common response is filled with both enthusiasm for change and dread because you know the resolve might not even last through the first 4 weeks of the year.🤦♀️
Let’s be honest – January is a difficult month. Here in the UK it’s dark🌒 in the mornings, it’s dusky before we return home from work, temperatures are usually sub zero ❄️and those full fat stores come in handy (or at least that’s how we justify it to ourselves).
Most people’s bank accounts 💰 are at an all-time low as a result of the Christmas over splurge and many of you will know the exact number of days until pay day…. which in January is always designed to be the very last day of the month!
The younger kids are starting to get bored of their new toys, the older ones are facing one of the longest school terms of the year and exams are impending and adding additional stress to our already challenging teenagers.
You can’t find space in the house for all the Christmas clutter that you definitely didn’t need or want…..aaaaarrghhh
January is hardly the most motivating time to start a new routine is it? 🤷🏽♂️
I can hear the excuses! Hell, I’ve used them myself:
I’d be out running 🏃🏼♀️ in the morning if it wasn’t so dark
It would be easy to keep fit if I lived in Hawaii!☀️
All I’d want to eat if I lived in a hot country would be salad, but here ohhhh it’s just so cold, I need the extra layers!
I‘ll start committing to saving money once I’ve booked a summer holiday ✈️ – I really need something to look forward to!
So here’s my honest advice and if you listen and follow it – I guarantee you will feel happier…
Life is busy, right?
We are all juggling lots of balls and spinning lots of plates: family, relationships, career, finances, health, homes, travel, personal growth, keeping sane – sound about right?
So let’s forget New Year’s Resolutions!
Let’s focus on 10 days and let’s focus on ‘just ONE’ thing.
Sounds easy, right?
This 10 day goal is going to be HARD!
You’ll need to be determined to achieve it.
This is about training the mind.
This is about stepping out of your comfort zone and telling the little devil voice in your head to go away.
This is about becoming relentless in your pursuit for success.
This formula is a training programme for long term success and happiness! 😃
You don’t believe me yet?
Let me ask you this – when you achieve something that’s hard – how do you feel?
If you saved really hard and bought yourself a car, an old banger of a car, but one that got you around and meant you didn’t need to take the bus anymore, I bet you’d feel super proud. You’d wash it, hoover it and if anybody dared say anything negative about it – you’d tell them how hard you’d worked for it. But if someone had gifted you that same car – I guarantee you wouldn’t think of it in the same vane – you’d take it for granted or have a little less pride in the story you tell about it!
I share this anecdote because ‘hard work’ is the secret to happiness. Happiness comes from achieving something, achieving something on your own merit and achieving something that requires effort, patience, grit and determination.
Happiness is a formula – it isn’t having the perfect body or millions in the bank, it is the process of achieving those things though hard work and feeling the pride in doing so.
That’s why happiness is a constant pursuit – it’s not a fixed state!
And so come the New Year, here’s a better way to approach change, change which will really impact your life in a positive way and will help you escape the vicious cycle of trying, giving up, feeling disappointed in yourself and vowing to make no more resolutions until this time next year.
Here are 5 simple steps to long lasting change:
1. Choose ‘just ONE’ area of your life that you would like to improve
2. Set ‘just ONE’ short term goal (that can be achieved within 10 days)
3. Take consistent action (***this is the hardest step***)
4. Review your progress
5. Repeat the process but crank it up a notch!
Let’s turn this into a real-life example:
You have decided that you want to improve your health by losing weight. You set a short-term goal to lose 2 pounds in 10 days. For the next 10 days you commit to moving your body and creating a calorie deficit. You ensure consistency by using a free tracking tool such as MyFitnessPal. You push yourself every day to make sure you meet these targets. Not giving up when every inch of your body wants to stay in bed or reach for the chocolate 🍫 box is when you’ll master your mind and when you’ll feel successful and happy. If that feeling is not enough to motivate you then you’re not ready to start.
After 10 days when you review your progress – if you were consistent in your actions then trust me when I tell you – on top of feeling proud and happier – you will get additional results, in this case, weight loss!
The success and pride you feel in your achievement 💓will spur you on to set another goal – this time – see if you can conquer 14 days instead of 10 or crank it up a notch by exercising a little bit longer or a little bit harder than you did in the first goal set.
Be consistent and watch the magic happen!
You’ve got the formula, all you need to do is try it – ‘just ONE’ step at a time! 🙌🏻