New year, new you! Or maybe not. You may be thinking that you’ve done this whole thing before – started a new routine or changed an unhealthy habit, before sliding back into old patterns after a just few weeks. That would make you normal. And its also why New Year’s resolutions get such a bad rap. It’s hard to make lasting change without the right plan.
Much as we love us a quick-fix, change is both a process and a commitment. And it’s hard. Success means both letting go of something you’re attached to and venturing into the unknown. It feels risky. And you’re wondering whether you’ll really be able to hang in there until your resolution becomes a new habit, or until you’ve released a tired old pattern for good.
Change is hard, yes. But with the right plan it’s not only doable, it’s SO worth it. It’s the only way to grow into the person you know you’re meant to be.
Transformation, no matter how much you want it, requires a jumpstart. And that spark or jumpstart needs to come from within you. There is no sign to wait for, no perfect time, no handwritten invitation to step into your potential. It’s up to you to jumpstart your transformation with a 2020 resolution. Make this your time!
That would make you normal. And its also why New Year’s resolutions get such a bad rap. It’s hard to make lasting change without the right plan.
So, this year I invite you to avoid the resolution pitfalls and use a proven 4 step process to create your 2020 Transformation Plan.
1. Decide on your Transformation Launch date. Research shows the importance of using a meaningful date to help you initiate your goals.
January 1, 2020 is a good one, but studies show that the first day of the month, a Monday, the day after your birthday or any other date of significance is a great way to start. Put it on your calendar
2. Set the right goal. A goal that is both meaningful and actionable.
Most people underestimate how challenging change can be. During times of stress or exhaustion, the brain always wants to divert back to old habits.
So if my goal is to get a new job, I want to establish the real driver behind that need. A meaningful goal, one that connects to a deeper need, helps keep you on track when the going gets rough. To identify the deeper meaning associated with your goal try the following exercise:
Grab a pencil and paper and find a quiet space where you can carve out 15 minutes to focus.
First, envision where you want to be a year from now. How are you showing up in your most powerful moment? Picture as clearly as possible what this would look like. What are you doing? Who are you with? Who is noticeably absent?
Describe your vision in as much detail as possible.
You can use this vision to form the basis for your one-year goal. For example; if you pictured yourself accepting an award for outstanding achievement among a group of women you admire, standing tall, smiling and waving, your deeper need for a new job may be recognition for an achievement.
In which case your New Year’s resolution could be to find a role where I can make a difference and gain recognition for my achievements, instead of simply finding a new job.
Now find or create an image, either of someone you admire who has achieved this goal. Print it out and place is somewhere visible to remind you of what you’re working toward.
Now that you have the meaning part down, you’re ready to make your goal actionable with a gap list.
Revisit your 1-year vision and compare yourself now with the person you know you can be.
What’s different? Are you more confident? Visible? Accomplished? Fulfilled? Purposeful?
3. Create a gap list all of the things that are different then as compared to now.
For example if I pictured myself working in a challenging and rewarding new role feeling energized and confidence, while I currently feel trapped and unfulfilled in my job, my gap list may look like:
- more energized
- feeling confident
- connected with influential women in my field
- recognized for a professional achievement
- earning (a certain dollar amount)
- stylishly dressed
That’s a whole lotta change that isn’t going to happen all at once, nor do you want it to! Review your gap list with a starter goal helps you build momentum to work on the rest.
Of those items on the list, name the one resolution you’re willing and able to work on first. Choose something you can either accomplish easily, or which will make it easier to achieve your other gap list goals.
Maybe you’ve decided that your starter goal on the path to making your 1-year vision a reality is to focus on increasing your energy level.
In that case, your sample New Year’s Resolution could say: “This year I’m going to adjust my priorities to include 1 hour a day for exercise and self-care.”
Now rewrite your resolution in SMART Goal format:
- Rradical (as in a stretch),
For example, My New Year’s resolution is to begin a fitness routine I can stick with, beginning on 1/1/2020 and including monthly assessments to determine what’s working. After 3 months I’ll have made it enough of a habit to move on to the next item on my gap list.
4. Break down your resolution into incremental steps that you’ll schedule into your calendar. List all of the steps you’ll need to implement your Resolution.
Do you need to research gym memberships? Find a class at your local community center that works for you? Buy new shoes or exercise gear? Enlist a friend for support? Find a coach to help you stay accountable to your goal?
Schedule each step into your calendar. Nothing happens that isn’t scheduled, on a calendar. If it’s only scheduled in your mind, it’s still in should mode. The calendar moves it from “should” to “will”.
If you need to review and rearrange to make time for your new resolution, start there. Perhaps you need to get up an hour early to find the time you need. If so, what can you shift in your evening schedule to make time to go to bed earlier and avoid losing sleep?
Do you watch movies or TV at night? Me too! I’ve learned to watch ½ the movie, no matter where in the scene I am, and finish it the next day. It’s a great way to make the enjoyment last longer, and frees up more time to prioritize you.
Value your happiness, goals and vision enough to prioritize them over the things in your life you can shift to make room for growth.
As you can see lasting change is a process, not an event. Working your way down your gap list may take all year. But stick with it, because won’t it be wonderful to have achieved your 2020 vision when the next New Year rolls around?
If you’re here in Portland, you won’t want to miss 2020 Transformation. A virtual and on-site 2-part event at Stafford Hills Club beginning in January! Check out this intro video, https://tinyurl.com/wtyz7wv
More info and sign up here: http://staffordhills.com/transformation/