New Year’s Resolutions – Going Small is Good

New Year’s ResolutionsWhy do we have a tendency when setting New Year’s resolutions, to make them big and vague?

Did you know that the word “Resolution” has its roots in the 14th Century.  In Old French it means “breaking into parts”, or from the Latin “resolutionem”, meaning the process of breaking things into simpler forms.

This year, why not re-connect to the original meaning of the word, make your New Year’s Resolutions simple and specific, and break them down into small steps.  One way to achieve this is to use a goal setting framework such as APROCESS – you can download a workbook here.  APROCESS Workbook

Our brains work best when we have a goal to focus on. Breaking big goals down into small steps aids motivation.  Every time we take a step towards our goal we can get a sense of achievement – we get a hit of dopamine which is the body’s reward mechanism.  This fuels our motivation so that we want to take the next step.  Failure to build in these opportunities to celebrate progress means that motivation is much more likely to wane so that we are less likely to achieve the goal.

When you have your goal, and the first step in mind – take time to consider what achieving the goal will mean to you, why is it important to you, and what will you be seeing, hearing and feeling that is different when you have achieved the goal?

And the good news is… you don’t need to know what all the steps are between here and achieving the goal – just focus on the first step and commit to taking it.  When you have taken the first step, the second step will become clearer.  Expecting to plan every step in advance is a recipe for staying stuck!

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step – Martin Luther King Jr

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