With 2023 upon us, we look at why the 4000-year-old custom needs a modern-day, strengths-based approach.
New Year’s resolutions are a common tradition seen all around the world. A practice thought to have established itself over 4000 years ago with the Babylonians, promises were made to the gods in the hopes of a prosperous new year in return.
This new year custom for goal-setting still holds favour today, with the trend showing no sign of slowing. According to a YouGov poll, 1 in 5 of us are making resolutions for 2023, up from 1 in 7 in 2022. With the aftereffects of the pandemic still holding forth in our minds, many are ready to look ahead to the new year with optimism and hope for personal growth.
But of those who made resolutions last year, only 28% kept them all. 53% managed to keep some, but 1 in 6 didn’t keep any.
With those stats, you might be tempted to reassess the idea of New Year's resolutions for yourself. But a study published in 2020 looked at the result of effective goal-setting on the success rate of resolutions of over 1000 participants. Those using an approach-oriented goal were found to be much more successful in keeping their resolutions when compared to those with avoidance-oriented goals.
Our strengths-based approach to coaching uses this very idea. By focusing on positive outcomes rather than the unwanted aspects we want to rid ourselves of, we are creating a more constructive, forward-looking outlook on our goals. New Year's resolutions are used by many as an opportunity to initiate positive habits and
work towards a change in behaviour they’ve previously brushed aside. Putting an approach-oriented mindset to these intentions at the start of a new year can be the catalyst needed to bring about a lifelong change.
But while the process of setting and working towards these goals can be fulfilling, it can also be a challenging one. Initiating an adjustment that is achievable - and maintainable - is not always an easy path to follow. This is where coaching comes in.
A process in which an individual is guided and encouraged to discover untapped potential, coaching can help you achieve your goals and bring about the changes you want to see in your life. It goes hand-in-hand with your New Year’s resolutions, and these are the four reasons why coaching can help you make those positive changes stick - for good!
1. Set achievable goals from the start
The area in which coaching truly excels is the realistic setting of achievable goals. It's all too easy to get carried away on the 1st of January when the hangover is hitting hard, and you vow never to touch alcohol ever again. Ever. Never, ever!
But the reality is that when the headache has subsided and you’re thinking more clearly, you’ll most likely reassess your hasty decision and turn it into something a little more realistic: reducing your units or switching in zero-alcohol alternatives, for example.
Setting big-gestured, ambitious goals destined for failure - however well-meaning - can lead to discouragement, disappointment and giving up before you've reached your target. A coach can combat this by breaking down habits into smaller, more manageable steps and creating a plan to help you achieve them.
2. Your own personal cheerleader is part of the package
The support and encouragement of a coach as you work towards your goals are invaluable. It can be all too easy to get discouraged or lose motivation along the way, but a coach can provide the necessary backing and drive to help you stay focused and motivated.
3. Accountability means a coach you can count on
When left to your own devices, your good intentions may slide. What’s one more day without starting on that resolution? Tomorrow will be fine! A coach remains one step ahead of you, helping you stay accountable and not letting excuses or other priorities take precedence. It’s all part of the journey for your new year’s resolutions to become a reality.
4. A sat nav for your goals
Your goals are set and have been broken down into manageable steps. But when a wobble hits and you’re unsure how to get through, your coach is there to get you back on track. Ensuring you maintain your drive and direction, your coach is there to keep you on track and sustain progress towards your ultimate goals.
Coaching can be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to make lasting changes. Why not make coaching your resolution this year, and see how powerful it can be? Get in touch to find out more.