New Year New You 2014

New Years Resolutions are about change, and change is related to motivation. However motivation is not enough. So how can we be more successful this year?

Firstly get under the skin of your resolutions, and explore if they really are what you want. Are they to do with intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? Intrinsic motivation is to do with what has meaning for you and relates to values, potentials and enjoyment.
Extrinsic motivation is connected to outer factors such a praise or financial reward or attention. Intrinsic motivation is always more powerful so choose carefully!

Secondly, make some secondary choices (that underpin your main goal) and choose small steps that will lead to it e.g.: main goal  ‘to get fit’ then a secondary choice could be walk to work every Tuesday morning.

Change is about doing things differently as in the words of W.L.Bateman: “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done,you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got”.

A crucial thing, that people often leave out, (do this at your peril) is not creating enough support for yourself to make change. Support needs to be part of the very structure of change, from the outset, and not an extra ‘add on’ at the end when you’re getting a bit wobbly.

We are hard wired to be social beings and so support usually means other people. Family, friends, colleagues or change professionals like counsellors/coaches - all can help you build and maintain change. People are social capital and you can positively use people to provide supportive structures for yourself.

You can do this, for example, by, declaring the goals you want to achieve and asking others to hold you accountable to them for achieving them (checking in, reviewing, trouble shooting, celebrating milestones). Alternatively you could enrol people into aiming for the same goals as yourself (people often want the same things - get fit, spend more time with family etc). This is a clever move as it gets support alongside you thereby providing encouragement motivation and pleasure (peer support, gym buddies, change peers, goal getters etc).

All the research indicates that the biggest thing that will make the difference to you achieving your goals is getting support (addiction recovery, sports coaching, eduction, career excellence and achievement ) and yet this is something that us British have been slow to take up. Maybe it’s because we’re an island and yet, as in the words of Francis Bacon ‘no man is an island’. Time to ring the changes!

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