Ask most people in the personal development field about New Year's resolutions and they'll most likely give you the same answer - they don't work. There are dozens of articles on the web and in magazines telling you why not. But put simply, they usually don't work for one simple reason - they are incomplete.
Incomplete? Yes, it's true. At its most basic - we know what we want to happen, but we just don't think clearly enough about how we are going to make them happen. And to make it worse, if we give ourselves a whole bundle of resolutions and vow to begin them all on the same day - a day when we are possibly still in holiday mode - we really are setting ourselves up to fail.
So, when winter is at its darkest, dampest and most miserable (in Britain at least), your cherished resolutions have already crumbled before your eyes and you're feeling pretty low about yourself and your ability to succeed. Believe it or not - now is your very best time to begin again - but this time you can do it properly.
From feeling dud to feeling good. It's your choice.
You have two options - continue to wallow in the sense of failure those New Year resolution duds have given you - or figure out what went wrong and turn yourself from dud to livewire!
Because the fact is that in failing to get those resolutions working the first time, you've given yourself a fantastic database of information to help you work it better this time. And the great thing about renewing a goal is that your determination will be much stronger than the first time around.
So don't give up, start again and succeed. Don't you owe yourself a second chance?
Review, review, review
In case you've not got the message - it's review time. Do not skip the review!
1. Review your resolutions.
- Decide on one or two that are truly meaningful and you'd love to continue
- Get a clear understanding of the impact fulfilling this resolution will have
- Give yourself clear, sensible goals
3. Review the reasons you failed.
- What/who got in the way?
- What didn't you like?
- What did you find more difficult than expected?
Then it's time to make a new plan.
This time you've got your experience to help you. It will prove invaluable.
1. Check your goal again. Make it measurable. If appropriate, give yourself completion dates and interim goals. Write your goal down and keep it visible.
2. Think hard about how you are going to make it happen.
- Use the learning about the stuff that worked to help you succeed
- Figure out alternatives to the bits that didn't work
- Decide whether you need help. What kind of help do you need and how can you get it?
If help is what you need to succeed - then get that help. It is not weak to seek help in order to succeed - weakness is knowing you need an extra push from someone else, but dooming yourself to failure by not getting it.
Renewed energy, determination and self esteem
Remember - now really is the best time for you to start over. Once you've decided, you will feel a surge of positive feelings, energy and power. Use that power first of all to review and plan. And then use it to succeed with your not-so-new year resolutions.
Andrew Leigh helps people achieve fulfilling life direction and wellbeing, personal effectiveness and creative output.
You can find a free self-coaching download, coaching tools and articles at his website http://www.pathwayscoaching.co.uk - or check out the fantastic one-to-one client results on his testimonial page http://www.pathwayscoaching.co.uk/testimonials