New Year’s resolutions are traditionally huge challenges, something that you’ve been meaning to do for months, maybe even years and the dawn of a New Year is the perfect time to start, right?
They’re dreamy, often lofty goals that if you can conquer, will make you feel like you can do anything. So why don’t we believe in New Year’s resolutions here at Leap Like A Salmon? We’re not saying don’t have dreams, resolutions, or goals that drive you forward every day, instead, we believe in making manageable, small adjustments throughout the year that drive you towards your overall goals in a realistic way. We’re fans of continual development and committing to a goal and breaking it down into smaller chunks and here’s why:
Why New Year’s resolutions fail
First things first not everyone fails at their resolutions, in fact, 12% of us enjoy the taste of glory at the end of the year, and it’s thought the remaining 88% of us fail to meet them because they’re not specific enough. You want to run more, put more money into your savings, or the most common New Year’s resolution, you want to lose weight or get a new job. Great. What about how far you want to run, will you gradually build up your runs every month and how much will you save, what percentage more than you currently do? What is your target weight, what steps have you put in place to lose weight in a healthy and consistent manner? What is the new job and would it be a step up requiring further study? Having vague resolutions will only make it easier for you to lose focus and drop your resolution altogether. Change and life adjustments should be treated like a marathon not a sprint, small adjustments that take you in the direction you want to go one manageable step at a time.
Know your strengths. It’s crucial to channel your inner Andy Murray and believe that you can win Wimbledon and Olympic gold if you put your mind to it. Don’t let previous semi-final failures dampen your spirit. Tracking what you’re good at and knowing how you work best in different situations is advisable. If your New Year’s resolution is searching for a new job or going for a promotion, keeping on top of your personal and professional development via Leap Like A Salmon’s online CPD platform will help you commit to a plan, record your progress and reflect on your learning and continued development. Do you work well under pressure, or maybe you work better with more time to get tasks done? Are you a visual, goal-driven person or can you roll on happily without seeing any results for a while? Tracking your strengths will give you the faith needed to reach your goals and hear the inner voice shouting “I CAN DO THIS”.
Enjoying the process of change should be part of the journey. If you don’t look forward to something, you’re less likely to want to do it. The changes you implement shouldn’t be seen as a chore and they definitely shouldn’t add stress to your day. If you’re concerned that your new goals are negatively impacting your wellbeing, it’s a good idea to start tracking your wellbeing through the Leap Like A Salmon Wellbeing Wheel. It will quickly help you understand the eight sections related to your wellbeing and identify the contributing factors to your increased stress levels and allow you to adjust your goals accordingly.
How to create manageable and consistent habits
- Track your progress. Professionally and personally tracking the progress of new goals will keep driving you forward to achieve them. Leap Like A Salmon’s online CPD platform is ideal for this type of task. Even if your goal is not work-related, it’s likely you’ll reap the benefits of your new outlook in a work environment, so get tracking your development and your wellbeing and reflect on the changes as they unfold in front of you and you never know, the promotion you’ve been after might be around the corner.
- Break down your goals and take the sensible path. As mentioned earlier in this blog this is key, you’re more likely to stick to your New Year’s resolution if you break it down into bite-size chunks. Imagine you’re at the bottom of a mountain, you wouldn’t clamber over cliff edges and sharp rocks to get to the top, you’d take the path that gently weaves up the mountain one hairpin turn at a time, stopping at chalets along the way to reflect on the journey you’ve completed so far.
- Exercise regularly to release endorphins. Yup – whether to exercise more is part of your New Year’s resolution or not, we recommend exercising regularly to help release endorphins which relieve feelings of stress and make you feel on top of the world. A rush of endorphins will feed into your strengths and feed the inner voice reminding you that you can stick to your new goals.
- You are what you eat, what we put into our body directly correlates with how we feel, so again whether eating healthily is part of your new Year’s resolution or not, remember to treat your body well and if you start to doubt your ability to continue with your new habits, consider changing elements of what you eat to improve mental clarity and give you a much needed confidence boost.
- Remember that change is a process. It’s likely that the habits you’re trying to break have been with you for years if not your whole life so be realistic and don’t expect to change them in a matter of days, weeks, or even months. It might take you longer to achieve your new goals than you’d like, have faith in the journey and know that when you achieve them, they will have become new, healthily habits instead of one hit wonders.
So, to make sure your New Year’s resolution isn’t an annual disappointment, break it down (and then break it down again!). And ask yourself if it’s the right goal for you, just because your colleague wants to eat less chocolate doesn’t mean you have to. Most importantly, remember to be kind and flexible to yourself and to celebrate small victories along the way by tracking your progress. It’s not just the end goal that matters—it’s the journey along the way and you need to enjoy it.
We’d love to hear your goals for 2021. Thank you for reading and should you have anything you want to ask us, please do get in touch here.