7 ideas to make 2015 an extraordinary year

“Sometimes we know the best thing to do, but fail to do it. New year’s resolutions are often like that. We make resolutions because we know it would be better for us to lose weight, or get fit, or spend more time with our children. The problem is that a resolution is generally easier to break than it is to keep.” ~ Peter Singer

The new year brings new optimism.

Although I’m not a fan of new year’s resolutions that you are only going to let fade away before valentine’s day, I do appreciate the honest reflection. I appreciate resolution’s as a method of self awareness, saying what we would like to change.

Fun fact: only 15 percent of people actually follow thru with their resolutions.

Change happens gradually, in small increments.

There is no blue pill, or body tapping pattern magic – you have to do the work.

If you are truly committed to gradual change, I can almost guarantee you will change your tune and your habits completely over time.

2015 is going to be an extraordinary year.  I can feel it.

Below I offer some ideas for making your resolutions truly stickk(I meant to write it that way).

1. Be ready to go all in.
Remember the Adidas commitment? Or the newly branded Golin? They are going all in. These brands did more than just say they are going all in. Resolutions typically fail because they are never written down. If you write them down, start taking a few actions during holiday, and then return to work and find that there are 5 other things ready to distract you from your newly created resolve. So what happens? You let them gradually fade away or quit for something “more important.”

What if you had to pay half a month’s salary if you smoked one cigarette again? Would you stick to with the plan? Of course you would, be cause there is a very big reason to stay fully committed. Find a smart way to go all in and you’ll find a new level of commitment.

How to do it. I recommend getting an accountability partner or coach that can actually witness if you follow through or not. On top of that, I would go on over to Stickk and put your money where your mouth is.
Stickk was developed to add some monetary pressure to your quest for change.

2. Focus on changing one small piece at a time.
Resolutions are usually BIG and vague. “I want to lose weight.” “I’m going to be nice to the people at work.” “ I’m going to finally travel around the world.” After a while the next big thing will take over and grab your attention.

Sometimes these also look like goals that are broken down into deadlines and actions for each week. What happens if you miss a deadline? You beat yourself up for not being committed enough. You feel guilty because that oreo cookie was looking so appealing.

How to do it. This is just one idea – focus on creating one habit that will support the resolution. Remember that change is gradual. You can start with one habit and really focus on making that one count. After that habit forms, you then define another one. If you make the habits really small, it is possible to create one new habit each month. Really micro habits might even be created in a weak.

Gary Keller wrote, “it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit”, not 21. It only takes 5 experiences to establish the pattern. However, depending on the complexity, it can take more time to establish as a habit.

3. Work in weekly bursts.
Most people try to set a target for the whole year. A whole year is a long time. Enough time to lose motivation. Enough time to forget. Enough time for life to happen. If you focus on making your new change work one week at a time, you can evaluate what worked, what were your barriers, and how you can adapt for the next week. Be agile.

How to do it. Don’t spend endless hours putting together a spreadsheet to track your progress throughout the year. All those formulas and trend lines won’t matter when you keep it simple. Go for one week, day by day, completing your new habit.

4. Grab a buddy or a group.
I already mentioned this in the first idea, but I’ll reiterate again. Have someone that can keep you accountable for the change. If you can, find a group that is working together to make the change. You can fill each other with inspiration to keep going on.

There are tons of resources online for finding people who are trying to make a similar change. Google is a great first start. Meetup.com can help you find groups of similar interests. or do a search on 43things.com for people with the same goals.

5. Visualize your reasons for making the change.
Add this to your daily morning ritual. See yourself living and being the new you. What will it feel like? Will there be a chance in your appearance? Will there be a chance in your environment? What will people around you be saying?

6. Be curious and enjoy the journey.
Ultimately this is an exercise in becoming more self-aware of who you are becoming. Many may see their resolutions as a black or white thing. They did it or did not. I offer that you see it as an experience, a journey to learn from. This will be a discovery in knowing what works for you, what doesn’t, and what brick walls will get in your way.

If something comes along and shift you away from this resolution, it must have been an amazing thing. That’s a story worth capturing and sharing later.

This is not about good or bad, success or failure – it’s all about self tuning. Enjoy it.

7. Drink some tea.
I guess I am a little biased because I like tea. Even more than drinking tea, I like that it is a healthy way to force yourself to sit down and reflect on the week or get ready for the day ahead.

2015 is going to be extraordinary.

Your turn

Are there any words of advice or resources you want to share that help you stick to your resolutions.

Two requests:
1. Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts.

2. If you haven’t already, enter your email address and I’ll send you a note every couple weeks with some cool stuff and goodies 🙂
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