I get it: not many of us are big fans of dark mornings, cold weather and taking down the decorations. But guess what? We have to do it anyway! Might as well just take a deep breath and jump in then. My last “blog” of 2017 was not an original, but it came from the heart, wishing you more of a variety of things. In life coaching, questions are queen, and I’d like to get you to ask yourself 3 questions at the end of the first week of this new year:
1. What would you like to do more of?
2. What would you like to do less of?
3. What would you like to keep on doing?
And before you use the “New Year’s R” word, let me encourage you not to do that. I don’t believe in those, for a variety of reasons. A new year can start at any time, and the “new year, new you” thing is vastly over-hyped. So you have my permission to ignore, or reject, the R word!
But you may wish to make a change at any time, not just because it’s January. And whenever you decide that the time is right to do it, research suggests that the best way to make changes that stick is to follow a few simple steps.
- Have a plan for your change and write it down. You’re more likely to stick to it, if you’ve made it real and visible.
- Make it specific: go for a walk on Tuesday and Thursday, rather than walk more often.
- Be accountable for your change. Tell someone, or a group of people, what you plan to do. That way, you can share your success, or have to explain why you’ve not started!
- Connect your change habit to something you already do habitually, to make it a habit. For example, if a twice-weekly walk is your idea, do it after a meal, or something else that you do regularly.
- Start small. That way you’ll make it more achievable. A twice-weekly walk can become more frequent more easily than deciding to do a walk every single day, if you’re not used to it.
Look out next week, for some extra tips and hints to keep you motivated this year. And, in the meantime, whatever you do, make it easy to begin with. Finally, if you need some help to plan, and follow through, I’m ready and waiting to do just that…