VIVA LA EVOLUTION!... say NO to New Year Resolutions.

Each year at this time millions of people from around the Globe make resolutions that they hope to keep during the coming year. By the end of February, a large percentage of those resolutions have fallen by the wayside. These resolutions usually belong to one of four categories.

1. To lose weight
2. To meet a life partner
3. To make more money
4. To have a more balanced lifestyle

The fitness industry, dating agencies, financial advisors and book stores begin rubbing their hands together in glee as they predict the profits they will make in the first month of the year.

I’m not really interested in pursuing why we do this year after year or quoting the statistics of failure. I am more interested in introducing a new way of greeting the New Year. A way that is practical, sustainable and doable.

This is what I propose. Do NOTHING. Yes, that’s right, do nothing. Then do something.

Forget about making any kind of resolution until at least the second or third week of January, then if you are serious about making changes do something about it.
This frees you up from making false promises and setting yourself up for failure.

How often have you voiced your resolution, made a few feeble attempts to “go for it” then with a sigh of relief at the first “distraction” given up and got back into your routine? Why? It’s a pointless exercise.

So, step one is – Don’t make any New Year Resolutions.

Step 2

Somewhere around the 8th or 9th of January and when you are living your life in a saner manner is the time to begin the Evolution. This is when you look at yourself and how you are living your life and decide what you would like to change or improve.

That’s all, just think about it. Ruminate on some ideas. Visualize how the changes might look and gently imagine having those changes in your life. What might be different? This is what I call Possibility Mode.

Step 3

a) Now is the time to discover how serious you are about actually taking steps to make the changes and begin to get excited when you realize that this is something that you are in control of. The choice is yours, either way.

b) You begin by doing some research; ask some questions. You may even book some sessions with a coach, mentor or fitness professional depending on your goals and dreams. You are now in Action Mode.

Step 4

You have moved on now to actually doing something about your evolution. Now is the time to draw up a plan, have a big picture vision and write out some S.M.A.R.T. goals to move you forward. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for:

Specific - What exactly do you want to achieve?

Measurable – How will you know when you have it? (size, weight, measurement of some kind)

Achievable –do you have the time, resources etc. to take the actions necessary?

Realistic- Is the goal a stretch for you yet still doable?

Time-frame – When do you want to see the result, specific date.

These smart goals are the stepping stones or rungs on the ladder of your success. This is Planning Mode.

Step 5

Now is the time to put your plan into action, factor in any possible obstacles and create plans on how you will overcome them should they occur. This is when Plan A and Plan B come into play. Always have a plan B. (and C too if you wish).

An example of this would be; say you plan to run 4 days a week for an hour and on the second day the heavens open and it pours with rain. What do you do now? You run on a treadmill or whatever your Plan B is. Haven’t got one? Go to a gym.

Step 6

Recap – Regroup – Re-plan. What works, what doesn’t? Do you need to make any changes to your SMART goals? Maybe you set your sites too high or too low. This is where you tweak everything so that it is personally designed for you, it is viable and it is fun. This is Personalize mode.

Step 7

I saved the most important step of the Evolution until last and that is, Accountability!

The reason most of us fail in our dreams and goals is that we don’t hold ourselves accountable in a way that is sustainable .It would be rather pointless to follow all of these steps then two or three weeks later “forget” to do them or allow “life” to get in the way. (sound like anyone you know?)

You need to know, absolutely what works for you. For me personally I am like a dog with a bone when it comes to keeping my word, to myself or anyone else. If this isn’t important to you it will be necessary to figure out how you will stay accountable. It may mean hiring an accountability partner like a coach or asking a friend or colleague to keep you on track.

You know you better than anyone and it is really important to get this part right or the steps will not work. Later on when you have made these steps a habit you may be able to do this alone but for now I would encourage you to find someone to support you and keep you focused.

Make a decision this year to be the best you can be and this time next year imagine the possibilities! Which would you prefer?... to be a statistic or to be shouting with pride - VIVA LA EVOLUTION!?

Author's Bio: 

Joan Bell is the founder of Action Central and Life Coach 101. She is a Fitness Professional and Certified Life Coach. She lives in Australia and coaches to anywhere in the world

Joan is on a mission to help more socially aware women (and some men) take more action more often and share their gifts with others. The kind of people who want of BE more rather than HAVE more. Take your life to the next level at Action Central.

Joan has the personal experience, the qualifications and the passion to help you become your most authentic self.