New Year’s resolutions are generally easy to make, but often much harder to stick with. Liz Brown is a Professional Certified Coach based in North Wilmington, and she has some key advice for sticking with major life goals.
Here, the Delaware native offers her top five tips for sticking with your New Year’s resolutions.
1. Reaffirm or identify your “why”
According to Brown, it’s crucial to be clear about why you’re choosing to make a change. She recommends asking yourself questions like, “What makes this change important to me now?” or “What are the benefits of this change?”
“Without a firm understanding of your ‘why,’ it becomes easier to give up when inevitable obstacles occur,” she adds.
2. Plan for obstacles
Speaking of inevitable obstacles, Brown explains that one of the main factors that causes us to give up on our goals is not planning for the obstacles that will arise.
“Consider potential challenges and develop strategies or contingency plans to overcome them,” she says. “One approach is the ‘if, then’ strategy. For instance, if you feel the urge to eat a pastry at a coffee shop, then choose a piece of fruit instead. Planning helps curb impulsivity in the moment.”
“Change is not linear. Most people need several attempts before a habit is formed.”
—Liz Brown, Professional Certified Coach
3. Gather a support system
Along with a plan, it’s also good to have a support system for when obstacles arise. Brown explains that it’s much easier to stick with a plan if you have supportive people to help.
“Consider finding a walking buddy, joining a support group or a class or hiring a professional for assistance,” she recommends. “Having external support and accountability increases the likelihood of sticking to a plan.”
4. Replace “all or nothing” thinking
A common pitfall, according to Brown, is thinking that if you have a day or week where you don’t meet your goal, you’ve “failed” and might as well give up.
“Change is not linear,” Brown adds. “Most people need several attempts before a habit is formed. Use such instances as opportunities to tweak your plan if it’s not working.”
5. Treat your goal as an experiment
“Adopt the mindset of trying something to see how it works,” Brown says. “Tweak your approach as needed.”
She also advises that adding novelty or gamifying your New Year’s goal can be helpful. She recommends things like introducing variety by playing different music or listening to an inspiring podcast when you clean your house, trying new healthy recipes, taking fun classes, or joining new groups. Gamifying could involve participating in a group challenge, rewarding yourself with progress points, or timing how fast you can clean up a room.
Liz Brown PCC, MCAC, NBC-HWC, CPRC is a professional certified life coach specializing in ADHD and health and wellness coaching. She is a mother of four children and two rescue dogs. Her business, Be Well Life Coaching, offers personalized life coaching for teens and adults both virtually and in-person. Life coaching services can help you create healthy habits, get proper support and learn how to live a more balanced and fulfilled life.
Be Well Life Coaching | 5716 Kennett Pike, Suite 200, Wilmington | 584-55521