The start of a new year rings in so many new possibilities. It feels like an opportunity to push the refresh button. For some, this may look like making good on the promises we didn’t quite keep to ourselves in the year before. For others, it means building upon the success of the previous year. Whichever situation you find yourself in, here are some helpful tips to keep at it as 2024 rolls along.
1. Plan your resolution
Setting a resolution is like jumping on your bike - it sets up the intention to change. But the bike needs more than just you sitting on it to get going - it needs energy to sustain its journey.
The energy to get your bike moving in the right direction is to plan ahead.
Here’s a little exercise for you to start the process of creating a plan - take a look at your resolution for the year and ask yourself these questions:
- How can I break this resolution down into actionable steps?
- What resources do I need to achieve my resolution?
- How will I prioritize achieving this resolution and embed it into my daily life?
By tackling these questions and creating a plan to tackle your resolution, you are more likely to stick to them and turn your intention to change into a realized vision.
2. Anticipate Roadblocks
In turning your intention to reality, you can and should expect to encounter roadblocks that will challenge your commitment.
Anticipating what these roadblocks might look like will allow you to keep yourself accountable and one step ahead of any setback you might encounter.
It is often the case that the obstacles you face in sticking to your resolution will be encountered more than once. One of the best ways to keep track of roadblocks you encounter is to journal them as they appear - this way you create a physical record of obstacles to better prepare you for the future should you encounter them again. I’d even recommend writing down how you will address the obstacle the next time so you can refer to the solution the next time this obstacle resurfaces, and remove any feelings of discouragement or disappointment you may feel.
3. Take small steps
Change takes time - and it doesn’t have to happen overnight. One of the main reasons people fail to keep to their resolutions is because they commit too hard, too fast.
Incremental change works much better to create long lasting change.
If your resolution is to spend more time in nature, start with small steps. You could start by spending half an hour at a park 1 to 3 times a week. As you find yourself spending more time outdoors, you can start increasing the duration of your time spent there and even incorporate other activities such as hiking to increase the benefit of being outdoors.
By starting small and increasing your scope as time progresses, you incorporate the change in a more holistic way and create a greater chance of embedding it within your life over a longer period of time.
4. Be kind to yourself
Change is challenging. You are trying to rewire your brain and build new pathways. It is often easy to get down on yourself and give up on your resolution.
Kindness is the antidote to giving up. It is incredibly courageous to want to create new habits and change. Recognize that what you are doing is a process, and when you make a mistake or face a setback - know it is not the end. Be kind to yourself in those moments of strife so you have the energy to keep going.
And guess what? These tips work for more than just new year's resolutions. Planning, anticipating roadblocks, taking small, realistic steps and being kind to yourself is the perfect way to think about how you work. Give it a go and let us know how you get on!
This post was written by NNC Community Manager, Surej Sidhu.