New Years Resolution Mistake 5. Copying an Ill-Fitting Routine
Not everyone works the same way. Some people thrive on discipline and routine, others prefer randomness. Some people have small pockets of free time, some have it all at the end of the week. If you have half an hour spare every evening, use that time to work on your goal. Do what comes naturally to you and the habit will be easier to form.
New Years Resolution Mistake 6. Expecting Perfection.
Unfortunately in this culture of quick fixes all those magazine articles and guests on morning TV promise you that it’s EASY to achieve your goal.
“Drink these shakes, watch the fat melt off.”
“Strap on this electronic belt while watching tv and get a six pack without any EFFORT.”
If it was easy, 60% of the UK wouldn’t be overweight or obese. Trouble is, to get noticed you have to promise your consumers that it will change their life, so your expectations are sky high. When reality hits, and you achieve mediocre results, or don’t see the “instant change” they promised, you get disheartened and quit.
Make a check sheet and mark off every day you kept up the habit. If you miss a day, get straight back on it, think about the total number of days you did it in a given month, not how many in a row. I’m introducing cold showers every morning, some days i’ve had poor sleep and i’m NOT in the mood for cold. I give myself that day knowing I can get straight back on it tomorrow. Don’t treat 100% success as the baseline.
Be PROUD every day you achieve it, not annoyed every day you don’t.
New Years Resolution Mistake 7. Self-Limiting Thoughts.
Eliminate negative self-talk. This is true in life, not just for your goals.
Don’t THINK anything to yourself you wouldn’t let a stranger SAY to your face.
Just because it comes from you doesn’t make it any less damaging mentally. There is an African proverb that says “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm”.
If you feel like you can’t succeed, think of someone who has what you want. How would they act in the situation you are in? Sometimes the negative thoughts come from others who feel the need to put you down, that says way more about them than it does about you.
They could feel threatened, realise they need to take action themselves. They don’t really mean to put you down, they are normally angry at themselves. If it’s a friend or family member, simply say “Doing this is important to me. I would appreciate if you would respect it.”
New Years Resolution Mistake 8. No Plan B
Relapse is inevitable – plan for it. As we said earlier, perfection is not the immediate goal. How much flexibility have you built in to your goal? Are you exercising? Does that depend on the gym being open when you have the time, or on nice weather to run? Eating? If you have to get lunch in town, do you know how to be healthy? You’re eating out with friends and they want to go to Burger King, what’s the plan? Make sure you have a Plan B ready, as eventually you’ll need it.
New Years Resolution Mistake 9. Turning Slip-ups into Give-ups
If you can remember the acronym H.A.L.T. Willpower is especially weak when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Be aware of slip-ups in these four states and plan to overcome them, or reduce the time spent experiencing them.
Say you do mess up. Again, we’re not looking for perfection straight away. Since when did achieving something have to come without ANY setbacks?
Imagine if you wanted to become a chess grandmaster but in the second week you lose a match to a friend and just give up completely. Or you try to learn to play guitar, but as soon as you play the wrong note you stop forever. It sounds stupid doesn’t it? But that’s how some of you approach your goals.
You don’t need perfection to achieve your goal.
The new habit is something you are LEARNING so in the same way as anything else worth doing it will come with MISTAKES. If you slip up on your diet and catch yourself eating unhealthy food, don’t just give in.
Recognise the behaviour – Fight against temptation – Know that you can get back on track if you want to.
You can turn every slip-up into a LESSON. Analyse WHY you failed, and PLAN so it doesn’t happen again.