You’ve tried to make a change, but it’s hard to reach your goal and make it stick.
Habits are difficult to control, and those New Year’s Resolutions never last…
You are not alone.
Humans are habitual creatures, and making a change can feel like a lot of work. But there are some strategies you can use to maximise your chance of making the change, and really feel accomplished as you progress towards your goal.
This checklist of questions will allow you to really plan what you want to be different, understand what motivates you to fight your old habits and create the map to follow towards your potential.
What do I want? Where am I currently, and where do I want to be at the end?
By when? Do I have a deadline to aim for – and is this realistic? If it’s not, pick a smaller goal – maybe a smaller step to this bigger goal.
Why is this important to me? It’s important to know why you want to make the change – not because you’ve been told to or ‘know you should’ – what will you actually gain from changing?
How will I know I’ve managed it? What would I be doing or thinking differently if this goal was achieved?
Where am I now from 0 to 10; if 10 is at that goal?
0 ‒ 1 ‒2 ‒3 ‒4 ‒5 ‒6 ‒7 ‒8 ‒ 9‒10
Not started At Goal
What would it look like if I moved 1 point up that scale, in my life? How would I feel?
What action(s) would move me up to that number? What is the smallest step towards this?
Are there any other habits I can link this in with? It’s easier to amend or replace a current habit than stop/start one thing entirely.
What will I be doing daily or weekly towards this goal? Will I make lots of small changes across a day or change the way I do one key thing?
How long will that take per day/week? Do I have that time? How can I schedule it in now, make room for this new action?
Where will I struggle with it? What hasn’t worked in the past? Can I problem-solve those issues now? What is it that makes that a struggle? What do I need?
Can I reach that need without breaking my goal? How so?
Who can I enlist to support me in this? What will keep me accountable?
How will I react if I slip up? Will I start again the next day, re-visit these questions or just pick myself up and keep moving forward?
How will I monitor it? How often? Do I need a daily log, or is a weekly check-in enough?
How can I ensure that I get all the support I need from myself and from others?
What is my main motivating factor to succeed? What’s the deep reason for making this change: how will it benefit me?
A Strong ‘Why’ is the Cornerstone of Motivation.
Put that last motivating factor everywhere in your environment for the best results, a picture of the person you can’t let down, a quote about keeping your word or just a phrase about how it will make you feel are powerful cues.
In the end, making a change is hard work, and can take weeks for some people or months for others. But with these questions answered, you’re already half-way there.