How are your resolutions and/or goals for 2018 shaping up so far? Everyone will have set goals for the year, many will have set resolutions too but as I write this, I suspect a lot of these resolutions will have been broken and we’re now just focusing on our goals.
Ready to change
You will no doubt have read many posts on how to set your goals by considering the why, how and when questions as well as the what. Indeed, I normally write similar posts and ask my clients the same questions when they come to see me for help. These are designed to get you thinking more about your goals to understand their value to you and look at how you’re going to do it etc. This filters out stuff like pinning a random figure on the amount of weight you want to lose or define the level of fitness when you want to get fit.
There is one question that is seldom asked which will instantly determine whether we go on to achieve our goals. Are you ready to change? To achieve something different from where we are requires change and unless the answer to the question is yes, nothing will happen.
Say yes more
In 2009, I read the book Yes Man by Danny Wallace where he decided to say yes to everything in order to make his life more interesting and I decided in 2010, in my 40th year, to do the same and see what happened. I set some criteria to what I would say yes to, had the most amazing journey and I would recommend trying it yourself.
Saying yes more doesn’t mean agreeing to do everything as this has the potential to over-stretch ourselves and instead, become more open to new things, new opportunities and taking a different approach to change. Most people start the new year wanting to lose weight or get fit and often make drastic changes like changing their entire diet or join a gym and go every day. Unfortunately, this isn’t a sustainable strategy and many people struggle after a few weeks.
The most effective strategy I’ve found is to make one or two small changes at a time, be consistent with it and focus on becoming better with each one then when you find each change becoming easier, make another one and repeat the same process. As you follow this journey, you can often find the bad habits of before begin to fall away as they no longer serve a purpose and this usually happens without us making a conscious decision not to do indulge in the habit.
For example, we can often reach for a biscuit or some chocolate in the morning or afternoon to pick us up if we’re needing an energy boost whereas drinking more water and changing what we have for breakfast or lunch can give us a steadier release of energy, not be in need of an energy boost and as a result, we’re not reaching for that snack without having decided not to have it.
Creating New Habits
To me, it’s all about creating new habits and working towards achieving long-term lasting results than being tempted by the quick fix. We can say yes to getting up a little earlier in the morning to do some exercise, say yes to drinking more water, yes to changing one meal at a time, yes to switching off the internet earlier and going to bed at a sensible time in order to get better quality sleep. Yes, to going out for a short walk at lunchtime instead of eating lunch at our desks while responding to emails. Yes to phoning people instead of sending a text or email.
Some of these things may not seem that hard to do but done consistently, can change everything. How would it be if you became less stressed at work? Became more productive with your days while doing less? Having more energy and getting a great night’s sleep? Feeling happier with everything and making new friends? Doing things you never thought possible?
Sound good? Sound a bit optimistic, even for you? Why not say yes more in 2018 and see what you go on to achieve?
Say yes to new things but more importantly, say yes to yourself.