The start of the New Year is usually set with good intentions: to get fit, to lose weight, to start a new hobby. Before the end of February however, most of us have dropped the New Year’s resolution and only about 8% of us have kept it going beyond February and into spring. It is said that it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become a habit. Changing behaviour (and thoughts) is hard work! However there are things we can do to make it easier for us to stay on track.
The goal of “to get fit” or “lose weight” is often too broad. More realistic goals would be to be able to climb Mount Snowdon or to be able to wear a little black dress to that event in the summer. Goals also need to be broken down into smaller parts which are realistic and attainable.… this maintains motivation and enthusiasm as you are achieving lots of smaller (but no less significant) goals rather than one big one. So if your goal is to get fit for example, smaller goals might be to run for one minute solid and then walk for 10 minutes before running again for one minute around your block or park. The next goal might be to run solidly for two minutes and walk for nine minutes and so on.
The idea of “why” which lies behind our big goal (of for example to get fit) can sustain and motivate us, even when the going is tough and we’d rather watch a box set than get out in the rain. The “why” of the “to get fit” example is to climb Mount Snowdon in the summer. And if we can bring that image to life, it is far more motivating and sustaining, and therefore more likely to happen. So in this example, we might picture ourselves at the base of Snowdon and beginning the climb full of enthusiasm and energy. We might also picture ourselves at the top feeling happy and proud of our achievement. The more that we can bring to the imagery, in terms of pictures, emotions, thoughts and perhaps even smells the better for us to actually achieve it.
One way of not losing sight of our goal, and our “why”, is to create a vision board which you would see every day. There are no hard or fast rules when producing your own vision board, however the pictures (photographs, magazine cuttings, your own doodles) and words you choose would represent not just goals but your intentions and hopes as well. Vision boards help to keep these desires in mind and in sight and we are therefore more likely to work towards them.
I’ve been using vision boards for a few years, and the themes for 2018 include “balance” (between work life and personal life and things I need to put in place to enable that), “adventure” (things I wish to do and see) and “personal growth” (activities which will enable me to learn more about myself). So what you waiting for, get creative and picture how 2018 will look!