How are your 2012 New Year Resolutions Faring? Are you going to achieve your Resolution Golds in the Olympic 2012 Year?
By the time you see this first edition of EN Magazine in 2012 you will have had at least one month to progress your New Year Resolutions. Chances are that they will have already fallen foul of the grey skies of January – a particularly hard month to make life changes as the weather is gloomy and we are all feeling rather flat after the bright Christmas and New Year’s festivities.
Some of you might not even have made New Year Resolutions this year. Who could blame you, with all the gloomy media predictions about the UK and EU economies, and the news, in particular, about record job losses in 2011/12? Best perhaps to keep your head down and be grateful that you have a job at all? Or concentrate solely on getting a job rather than a job you will enjoy, if you are one of the many who are not presently in work?
So what is the point of my title question and reading on? Well, I think that we all deserve the opportunity to take ‘me time’ every now and again, no matter how busy our lives, and we all deserve to aspire to be the very best that we can. So I am going to help you achieve your own Olympic Gold goals in 2012.
Based on the principles of coaching top athletes and many years’ experience in performance and life coaching, as well as mentoring, I am going to suggest a simple approach that is proven to significantly increase your chances of making lasting improvements to key areas of your life.
First, do not repeat, especially word for word, any resolution that you have made in previous years and have quickly forgotten or abandoned well before Spring. Only make positively worded resolutions. Then you will be setting yourself up to succeed and not to fail. Also, do not think that you have missed the boat for 2012. Who says that the first week in January is the only time you can make Resolutions?
Take some ‘me time’ in a quiet place away from the noise and pressures of every day life to think about what is really important for you to achieve by January 2013 (or any other date that seems more realistic for your circumstances). Imagine how you will feel when you successfully make each of those desired changes. Compare that warm positive feeling with how you might feel if you do not succeed; whether by not trying at all, by lack of determination or by setting too high a threshold for yourself.
Compile a long list of possible resolutions if you wish, but be sure to hone that list down to those Resolutions which you really want to achieve: your Olympic Gold’s. Then, choose to set yourself no more than three realistic and positively worded resolutions to tackle in 2012. Write them down and include your desired end state, for example, I will be a healthy eater by the end 2012 and have better toned muscles.
Always set yourself some interim milestones to check and if necessary, adjust your progress along the way. Include monthly review dates in your diary now, so that you take time to do this key step. This will ensure that you do not simply forget about your resolutions or get distracted from your focus. Which inevitably will lead to experiencing the disappointment and failure, at a time when you will want to feel good about yourself and your future.
If you take this approach, your brain will start working immediately to support you by filtering in any key information or ideas to help you achieve all your Gold’s. You will be surprised at how much support is available to you, from family, friends, the internet and support groups. You will achieve positive affirmation that you are doing well every time you achieve either a small step or a long stride towards your goals and this will help drive you further forward.
I suggest that you also decide to give yourself a small reward for each milestone achieved or surpassed during 2012. You will certainly deserve a treat for working hard along the way to achievement and deciding what those treats might be for you in advance – and visualising them when the going gets tough – will help enormously towards achieving your milestones. They will be fun to do in themselves.
Treats need not be expensive if money is tight, why not reward yourself with a luxurious soak in a scented candlelit bath room or by listening to nature’s songs on a brisk country walk? Be creative in your choice of rewards and stick pictures representing your imagined goals and celebratory treats on the fridge door, to inspire you every time you open it or pass by to do the washing up!
Throughout the year it is very important that you do not let yourself be distracted from moving steadily forward towards your chosen Goals by other demands; negative remarks from others; or your own negative thoughts. Think only positively; enjoy and celebrate what you achieve at each stage; and remember always that you deserve to succeed – no matter how gloomy the outlook, the economy or the weather – and you will find that you do achieve whatever is most important for you in 2012. You will have your Olympic Golds.
Jo Langdale, Director of Afon Aur Ltd at www.afonaur.com and specialist in Human Resources, People and Organisation Development. Jo is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (FCIPD); Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management (FInstLM); and has a Diploma in Performance & Life Coaching. She draws on over 35 years experience working in a variety of Organisations with people in the public and private sectors in UK and EU.