As the end of one year approaches and a new one begins, it’s natural to start reflecting upon the year you’ve had and thinking of making New Year’s Resolutions. However, it’s important to make resolutions and positive changes when it’s right for you, but not solely because the calendar says so.
Overall, according to the Transtheoretical Model in psychology which shows that changes to behavior happen in distinct stages, you’re going to be most successful in making lasting changes when you hit the stage called “preparation.” That’s the stage when you are ready, willing and able to make a change, start planning and taking small steps towards implementing that change and believe you are going to be successful. To choose to embark upon a change with an artificial start date that isn’t in alignment with your own readiness can make it much harder to be successful.
That said, if you are truly in that place where you feel committed to change because it aligns with you personally vs. the calendar, then you just may benefit from the natural “group support” that you can leverage from others who are in it to win it in the new year.
Over the years, in coaching clients and in my own personal life, I’ve been successful with choosing just one small thing I wanted to improve upon or accomplish in the New Year that I felt I could commit to, versus large sweeping changes or goals that didn’t feel achievable.
For example, last year I resolved to get more “me time” in, and started with being intentional about taking my lunch break and doing something active at least three out of five weekdays. I didn’t pressure myself to do something active every day at lunchtime necessarily, nor did I force myself to choose what activity I would do. My only goal was to check that box with movement–be it walking, lifting weights, using my hula hoop, doing kickboxing or Zumba. It worked like a charm because I was ready, willing and able to take this on, and it gave me some quick early wins under my belt that gave me the belief that I could keep this habit going.
Overall, in thinking about making healthy changes, be patient with yourself and avoid an “all or none” mentality. It takes time to make and keep new habits even if you are focused on one small change. Celebrate any positive step that indicates progress towards the resolution you’ve made, no matter how small.
Wishing you much success!
About Coach Melanie, NBC-HWC
Melanie Jordan is a Nationally Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) with 12+ years of coaching and corporate wellness program experience for digital health start-ups, top health insurers, and her own private practice Your Healthy Life Made Easy LLC. Melanie specializes in working holistically with business professionals to become as successful at healthfully losing weight for good and transforming their overall health as they are in their careers.
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