How to safeguard your new habit to make sure
the change you want to make sticks
Every New Year’s Day, millions of people set resolutions and new habits. I think every day is a new day and open for possibility and change. So if you’re falling behind on whatever new habit you wanted to establish for yourself, it’s okay! There is always tomorrow, or better yet, right now, to get started.
First, make sure you’ve set yourself up for success by creating an achievable new habit and thoughtful description/declaration of how you’ll get there. (Follow the steps here.)
Now, with your goal solid, you need a back up plan. Undoubtedly, you’ll find yourself in a situation when you desire – like really desire – the thing you shouldn’t do. In the case where you want to eat less sweets, maybe you’ve replaced carrots for candy in your desk drawer, but there’s a vending machine just down the hall. What will you do then?
The idea behind the back up plan is that you consciously think about being put in a compromising position where you are tempted to do a behavior that doesn’t support your new habit or goal — and what you will do instead. Think about what will you do in those compromising moments to keep you on track.
- Think about all the possible scenarios that could derail you from completing your habit or accomplishing your goal.
- Now, think about what you can do to bring you back on course.
- When you find yourself in the compromising position, do the back up plan.
Here is how I used my Chaos to Calm method to coach one of my clients through her New Year’s goal of eating fewer sweets.
The Goal: Eat fewer sweets
The Plan: Eat fewer sweets by not eating sweets after 7p.m.
The Back-up Plan: If she had the urge to eat sweets, she’d drink apple cider vinegar instead. (Definitely not what I would choose to curb my sweet tooth, but hey, it’s her accountability, not mine!)
After a couple of weeks she reported she’d kept up with her goal of no sweets after 7pm AND was feeling so much better that she started hiking every Sunday. Rock on, Friend!
For help setting and keeping your goals, especially as a busy parent, I am here to assist you in creating a backup plan for whatever new habit you’d like to achieve!
Reach out, I’m here for you.