Resolution or Evolution?

Did you set a New Year’s resolution for 2020? Are you sticking to it?

Or, why didn’t you set a resolution? Perhaps because it’s difficult to stick to them?

Are you in need of a different and more effective way of setting your intentions for the year ahead?

A latest poll from YouGov suggests that only one in four people are setting new year’s resolutions. And within just a week, a quarter of those resolutions will have been dropped. By year end, only about a quarter of people will have managed to keep their resolutions.

What’s wrong with resolutions?

There’s plenty of reasons, anything from not being specific enough, to overly high expectations, through to not tracking progress, or simply not being ready to make the change.

Well, I think one major problem is the psychology behind the word itself. It’s a powerful and demanding word. Requiring strong will and determination. Placing pressure and demand on ourselves.

So, how about we change that word to “evolution”? The process of accumulating change. This is all about gradually changing habits; making regular, small and intentional steps.

How can you establish your evolution intention?

There are many ways; I’m picking out the 5 I think are most essential:

  1. Set your purpose – be clear on what good looks like. Depending on your personal preference, you could do this by visualising what life will be like with your new habits in place, you may like to talk through how you will change with someone you trust, or you could write down your plan of how you will make your incremental steps.
  2. Define what you’ll stop doing – freeing up space to enable your energy to flow into new habits. Stop hitting the snooze button! Stop leaving late to catch the train / to pick up the kids! Stop your first action of the working day being to read your emails!
  3. Choose one word – your word to guide you through this year, helping to keep you on track. Mine this year is “care” – for the leaders and teams I work with, for my family and friends, and most importantly, for myself. Keep your word close to you – on your home screen, in your notepad, or finding an object or picture that personifies your word. This is your guiding star.
  4. Change very small things, little by little – gradually building your new habits. Take the example of looking for a new job – how about you connect with 1 person each week e.g. recruiter, member of a team / company you’d like to work with, or a trusted advisor / coach; or within your own work group to build morale and connectedness – include 2 minutes of peer appreciation in your regular team meetings, or have each team member share 1 intention or goal for their week through your team social media channel.
  5. Track and celebrate – remember to reflect on your progress, at least weekly. Making tweaks to your actions when you need to. Congratulate yourself on what has gone well. Practice gratitude, to yourself and others. Have mini-celebrations!

I’ll leave you with this piece from James Clear, author of the Atomic Habit:

“Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.

Whether we’re in January or not, perhaps it’s time to think about one word for your evolution.

Here at Phoenix Evolution, we prefer to talk about leadership and team evolutions rather than resolutions! Reach out if you’d like to discuss how to develop and build your success through evolution.

Photo credit: Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

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