This is the third in the series of blogs on new year’s resolutions. If you haven’t yet read parts 1 and 2, please do so and complete the exercises there before reading on. You can find them at:
By now hopefully you should have spent some time developing a wonderful picture of your preferred future, noticed where you already are in relation to this and taken some more steps forwards.
If life goes smoothly, it is easy to continue with small steps forwards towards the future you want. However, life often throws challenges at us. Below are some tips to help you keep track of your progress and how to stay on track no matter what.
This first thing that can be helpful is setting aside a time to review your progress. Once a week is usually enough. Ask yourself:
- What has gone well this week?
Keep asking yourself ‘what else has gone well?’ so you come up with a list of all the things you are pleased to notice about your week. For each thing– ask yourself:
- How did I do that?
This will help you build up knowledge about what is going well and what you did to contribute to that progress. You can then decide on your next small steps forwards – which may be to keep doing what you are doing, or take some new steps forwards.
It can be helpful to notice where you are on your scale each time you review progress.
If you have moved forwards, ask yourself what has gone well and what you did that contributed to the progress. If your number has stayed the same – ask yourself how you have maintained the progress you already made, and what might be the next small step forwards.
If you find that you have dropped down the scale – don’t worry. It is normal to have setbacks when trying to make changes in your life. It can be very easy to get demoralized but knowing that it is normal to have set backs can help. Then when you review your week, try and focus on all the times where something went just a little better or times that you did manage to stay on track. Then try and remember as much as possible about those times and how you did that. Ask yourself what needs to happen to get yourself back to the number you were at on the scale previously.
Remember that each small step is an experiment and even if it didn’t work out the way you hoped you can learn something that might lead you to another step – even if this is something completely different than what you first imagined.
We hope you enjoy your journey this year!
NB The 3 blogs in this series use what is called the Solution Focused Approach to change. If you find these ideas helpful but would like some more support overcoming your problems and moving towards your preferred future you can contact us to arrange a session of Solution Focused Therapy. A fantastic self help book that many of these questions were taken from is called: The Power of the Next Small Step by Rayya Gaul.