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18th January, 2019
A recent survey revealed that around 80% of us have failed at our New Year’s resolutions by February; as we storm through the third week in January, we at Full Picture thought we’d give you a little advice on how to stay on track – just in case…
First things first, a short background on the complicated monster that is the New Year’s resolution!
This custom started way back with the Babylonians who, whilst celebrating their “New Year” in late March – recognising the first new moon after the Spring Equinox as new beginning, made promises to start the year off on the right foot in an attempt to curry favour with their Gods.
Along came Ceasar who, after consultation with the greatest astronomers and mathematicians of his time, introduced the Julian calendar and declared January 1st to be the first day of the year in honour of the God of Beginnings (Janus, like January…get it?). The Romans saw in their New Year by offering sacrifices to Janus, a clear parallel with our inclination to sacrifice the chocolate and doughnuts come January!
So, this tradition of making promises we can’t keep dates way back to 45BC! You’d think we’d have it nailed by now but, if you’re still struggling, here’s our tips for tenacity!
The bigger the goal, the more exciting, motivating and inspirational you’ll find it! Ambitious goals will have you bragging to those around you, many of whom with cheer you on and give you incentive to continue, others will be able to provide support or anecdotal evidence that will help to spur you on.
Now think small. Big dreams can also be overwhelming, so break that goal down in to tiny, achievable steps that will form the building blocks of your ultimate goal. Achieving these smaller goals can build your confidence towards tackling, and succeeding at, more difficult tasks.
Top Tip: If you start every “To Do” list with “Make a List” you’re bound to tick off on at least one thing quickly, the satisfaction of which will motivate you to do others!
If the new habit is so good, why aren’t you doing it now? It’s because your current ways have their own appeal – even unhealthy things like overeating and smoking have immediate, pleasurable pay offs. The answer to this question may be anything from comfort to time constraints but, whatever it is, by understanding these you can account for them and perhaps find other ways to overcome or fulfil those needs before they drag you back.
If you’re worried your love of tuna melt paninis will have you welching on your promise to give up bread, perhaps consider adding a tuna jacket potato in to your lunch plans!
Top Tip: Comfort zone holding you back? You can also boost your chances of success by comparing the positives of change against the positives of the existing and working to make the new behaviour more attractive than the comfort of staying still.
Now flip it! What are the negatives of the current behaviours? Why do you want to change? Are there any negatives/risks that you could manage before you get there?
Starting off understanding the “Why” and the potential obstacles provides a strong platform for success by giving clear vision and motivators.
Top Tip: More of a visual person? Try setting up a vision board packed with images of what success will bring to you and how you’ll slay those obstacles. Or perhaps write all this down in a nice notebook – seeing things in your own handwriting has a powerful effect on the mind.
Find an accountability buddy, either somebody who will actually train for that marathon with you, or somebody who you really won’t want to let down. This little bond will encourage you to push through tough spots and will ensure there’s always somebody there to pick you up if you ever fall down. It’s great to have somebody to discuss slip ups with; their subjective view can help you to understand why it happened and learn the lessons going forward.
Top Tip: Not comfortable with being quite so open about your goal? Why not find your tribe online? Or set up an anonymous social media page for goal tracking?
Quit hunting perfection. Almost every goal you set will benefit you even if you end up achieving less than you’d like to – exercise, saving money, weight loss etc. Maybe tomorrow will be better, but for now? You’re better than yesterday.
Top Tip: Reward yourself! Don’t wait until you’re at 100% to celebrate your achievements. Pause along the way to acknowledge the effort you’re making and the incremental changes along the way. Reward small steps with little celebrations.
So, there you have it, our top tips for staying in the 20%!
Leave us a comment below to let us know how you’re getting on with your resolutions!
If you’re New Year’s Resolution is to get a new job, get in touch today to see how our unique approach to Recruitment could be just the change you’re looking for.