6 Tips to Avoid the Jan 17 "Dump your Resolutions Day" Blues
How to make those resolutions stick.
How many of us make New Year’s resolutions, then tuck them away never to be seen again? No wonder they don’t work. Here are 6 tips to help them stick, a story of success and a template to help you create resolutions that really work.
1). Start with why: List all the reasons it’s important to you. What can you avoid and what can you gain by completing this goal?
2). Find an accountability partner: Accountability can be a huge motivator. Some of us will do things for others that we wouldn’t do for ourselves.
3. Put some skin in the game: Tell people about it so you will have to face public humiliation if you don’t achieve your goal.
4). Check in: Build in check points and reminders. Print them out and post them where you see them every day!
5). Break it down: Instead of thinking of New Year’s resolutions, think of New Month’s, New Week’s and even New Day’s resolutions.
6). Create habits: You are the sum total of your habits. Brian Tracy says “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” Eliminate choices by making habits.
My husband and I lost 30 pounds collectively before Christmas. How did we do it? Simply using the tips above. Here’s the story of our “Danish Lunch Weight Loss Wagering Challenge”.
1. Start with why: John wanted to lose some weight. He started by listing all the benefits including the things he could avoid by not losing the weight. His motivation was high.
2. Find an accountability partner: He then shared that list with me to help inspire me to join him. He knew that since we eat together every day, having me on board was key. It’s a lot easier to be good when you have the momentum of two. He had seen the benefit of my exercise accountability partner. She meets me in my gym every weekday morning at 6:15. We both admit that if we were doing it just for ourselves we would skip work outs far more often. Knowing the other person is waiting, makes the world of difference.
3. Put some skin in the game: He then sent an email to all the participants in our annual Christmas lunch gathering hosted by our Danish friends. "Who wants in?”, he asked. And by “in” he meant, agreeing to lose 15 pounds for the guys and 9 pounds for the girls before our weigh in at the lunch. The penalty if you didn’t? Not only the public humiliation from the entire group but also a $1000 (in the form of a donation to the winner’s favorite charity). Ouch.
4. Check in: He set us up on an app where we could monitor our progress daily. Seeing my progress visually was highly motivating! We also checked in with the group early on to share progress. Everyone was on track!
5. Break it down: I admit, 9 pounds sounded overwhelming to me until we broke it down. John showed me that if I could eliminate or burn off just 500 calories a day, that makes 3500 a week and 3500 equals 1 pound! I could lose a pound a week by simply eliminating 500 calories a day! Well, I could do that!
6. Create habits: Instead of making a decision every day about what to have for breakfast and lunch, we had our staples. We had the same healthy options for breakfast and lunch and then ate our regular family dinner. Eliminating choice removed the necessity to rely on willpower. There was no decision to be made. No willpower required. If John had to decide each day whether or not to exercise, he would waste a lot of brainpower “did I get enough sleep or should I sleep instead?”, “Is my to do list too long today, so should I skip exercise to get more done?” etc. Instead, he made a habit of putting on his exercise gear after we put the kids to bed. He wouldn’t earn his shower until after he had sweated for an hour in our gym.
From the 20 people in our Danish lunch group, 5 of us embarked on the challenge. Together we lost 77 pounds! Sure the other’s called us “losers” the whole night of the Danish lunch but we were quite okay with that!
How are you going to create a successful 2016? What habits do you need to keep, lose, make or change to achieve that success?
PS: If you would like the template to guide you to create goals that will really work, just click here and we’ll email you the template.
PPS: For more ideas on how to create better habits, enjoy these summaries of 3 awesome books.