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How to approach new years resolutions so that you actually achieve your goal.

January 8, 2019

I think we have all made a new years resolution and then in February fallen off the wagon and ended up exactly where we started. I want to share some of the tips that I've found helpful in achieving my own goals throughout different areas of life. 

 

 

First off you need to establish what it is you want to achieve, and your resolution needs to be measurable otherwise how will you know if you’ve hit it. The clearer your goal is the easier it will be to break it down into manageable pieces that will help you reach your goal.

 

Large goals don't happen over night and so in order to stay motivated and stick with the actions necessary to get you to the end goal that you want to achieve we need to break down our goals into a daily habit that if done on a regular basis (everyday or a certain amount each week) will get us to our end goal. 

 

Once we know our daily habit, all we have to do is stick to it. This is easier said than done, how do we create a habit so we’re not one of the people throwing in the towel after the first two weeks of trying to make a change? We remove distractions and use a system that is going to require the least amount of willpower. Willpower is finite and if you make it hard on yourself you may stick with it for a short period, but you will eventually fail. 

 

An example of what making things hard on yourself looks like. You have vowed to quit eating junk food as you recognize it’s doing nothing for you nutritionally and making you feel sluggish in the afternoons. You go to the grocery store and continue to buy chips and cookies to have in the house, because it’s not fair to the rest of the people in your household that you want to quit eating sugary treats, they shouldn't have to quit too. If you have that type of food around you will eat it, simple as that. Stop testing your willpower, If you have to get in your car and drive to the store to get the chips you are going to be way less likely to make the effort to go get junk as opposed to if its sitting in your cupboard. Designate one day a week where you eat some sort of treat, but go and get it from outside your house and don't store it in your house. This can be a good way to ween yourself out of a behaviour that you are trying to change. You will be less likely to feel as though you need a sweet treat if you know you're able to reward yourself on Saturday. The all or nothing approach often fails because we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Make these progressions gradual, eating less junk food is better than eating no junk food for one week and then binging the next week. It’s all about creating sustainability and lasting change.

 

While it’s usually easier to focus on one new habit at a time,I have found that some habits compliment each other and it can be helpful to implement more than one habit at the same time. A habit that has a net positive on other aspects of your life is called a keystone habit, if you can figure out what your keystone habits are you will be able to make big changes in your life quickly.  One keystone habit I found for myself is exercise, when I work out I want to eat better, I drink more water, get better sleep and because of the compound effect of all of these positive changes I am able to show up as a better version of myself because of one actionable item each day.

 

Figure out the daily habit that is going to get you to your resolution goal and make it as simple as possible for you to achieve that daily task. Keep the end goal in mind, slow and steady is better than all or nothing and eventual failure. What other daily habits might make this habit easier or more enjoyable to stick with? By using this approach to resolutions I think you will see greater success and overall fulfillment in pursuing whatever goals you choose.

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