Don't make resolutions, create a plan for change

Resolution, resolution, resolution. We’re ripe for change in early January, but we often fall at the first hurdle simply because we don’t know how to turn ideas into goals and goal into habits. Luckily for us psychologists and behaviour change specialists have been studying this for years and have come up with some simple, yet highly effective tools for making changes that work.

To make successful changes you need to set goals and make a plan for change. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself some important questions;

  1. What specifically do I want to change?

  2. Why do I want to make this change?

  3. On a scale of 1-10 how important is this change to me?

  4. On a scale of 1-10 how committed am I to making this change?

  5. On a scale of 1-10 how ready am I to make this change?

  6. What’s stopped me making this change in the past?

  7. Why is now the right time to make this change?

  8. What resources do I need to make this change?

  9. How can I get the support and resources to make this change?

  10. Who else will this change affect?

  11. What or who will be a barrier to making this change?

  12. Who might help me maintain this change?

  13. What’s one thing I can do today to start making this change?

  14. How will I know I’ve been successful?

  15. How will I feel if I don’t achieve my goal?

  16. How will I feel if I am successful?

  17. What will life be like in 3 years if I am successful at making this change?

Take the time to answer each question honestly and write down your answers. From these you will be able to identify what has stopped you in the past, what’s motivating you now and who might be a barrier or support to making this change. This is the start of making a plan for change. Only work on one change at a time and take yourself through these questions for every single change you want to make.

The next blog will give you tips on how to make changes easy, build changes into your routine and turn changes into habits.

Jazka Atterbury, Behaviour Change Specialist, Professional Coach and Trainer