Many people start thinking about making changes in their life around this time of year and lots of us resolve to “do better” at something. People tend to think of New Year Resolutions in broad strokes, making BIG changes that last all year. According to Forbes, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail for a variety of reasons.
One reason resolutions can fail is that humans tend to want the whole enchilada and when it does not come fast enough, we get discouraged and may stop trying. If the goal is to “reduce body mass by 30 pounds,” then you’ve only succeeded after the 30 pounds are gone. Every day between now and the day the weight is gone, we have “failed” to meet the goal. See?
If we’re after a big goal, we’re more likely to reach it if we have support in the way of an accountability partner or coach, and if we break that big goal into steps that become smaller goals that build confidence as we go.
So I say fuck setting one big resolution for the year that “changes everything.” I recommend that clients create smaller sustainable intentions that are actually steps leading to their big goal.
What’s one small change you can make today that you could maintain for one week? There are millions of changes we could choose to focus on, but which one feels most beneficial for you right now?
Here are just a few that my clients choose to focus on:
- Increased hydration
- Move the body more
- Eat more vegetables
- Reduce sugar intake
- Track foods/food journal
- Add supplements
Instead of trying to do all of these things (and more) until the big goal is achieved, set an intention to focus on one thing today. Just one. Just for today.
Then tomorrow, set an intention to focus on that same thing. If you follow your daily intention every day for a week, it is becoming more familiar, less cumbersome to carry out. At the end of the first week, ask yourself (if you’re ready) which change you most want to undertake next. Then you can choose that as your new daily intention – alongside last week’s intention.
By the end of the January you will have made four small changes that you are practicing regularly. The first two at least will already feel like habit. You’ll have reached four goals already, and be on your way toward your BIG goal.
These small daily/weekly successes are the building blocks of the confidence we need to make those bigger changes. One reason resolutions can fail is we don’t have the confidence that we are capable of creating change. So building confidence daily and weekly with changes that create improved health and well-being is crucial.
Even if you stick with the first intention from the first day and let that be your guiding intention for the whole month, think how much can change with just one change! Any one of the changes listed above done repetitively for one month (renewed each day as our intention) will create change we can see or feel.
It’s easier to maintain focus for one day than for a full year, so daily intentions can be far more effective than year-long resolutions. Set those big goals for sure, but let your daily intentions carry you toward them one small step at a time.
What will change for you if you make just one small change today?
What’s one small change you can make today?
How possible is it to maintain that change for a week?
What change do you most want in your life?
How can you break it down into smaller action steps?
What is your intention for today?
How can I help you with that?
Helping clients get past what’s holding them back to reach their goals is what I do! Schedule a free 30-minute chat HERE to see how coaching can help you reach whatever goal you are ready to reach! You will walk away with at least one action step to move you in the direction of your goals, and a better understanding of what coaching is and how it works.