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Published on: HR Coaching & Mentoring

Three easy steps to making resolutions you can stick to

Do you want to actually achieve the New Year’s resolutions you make this year? Do you believe that we should learn from our mistakes? If so, you might need to rethink how you set your goals and your plan to achieve them.

​If, like me, you find new year’s resolutions almost impossible to stick to, here are 3 simple steps to making more achievable new year’s resolutions…

In coaching, I often use an easy three step process to help establish meaningful goals that are both stretching and achievable. It is adapted from a well-established experiential learning framework – What, So What, Now What (Rolfe et al, 2001).

In academic studies, nursing practitioners were advised to reflect on events in order to make improvements, by applying three reflective questions:

1.    What?
What happened? A description of the event
2.    So what?
An analysis of what happened – what went well/badly? what was important about it?
3.    Now what?
Proposed actions following the event. What will be repeated/changed next time.

Experiential learning is the ideal framework for goal setting.

It stands to reason that if this approach is effective to clearly identify improvements, it can also be used to establish stronger goals and actions to achieve those goals. We can therefore apply the same principles to ensure that the change we want to make is continuous and sustainable.

Here’s how it can be adapted to setting your goals for change:

Step 1: What?
What is the end goal or overall challenge you are facing?

Most people stop here and think that’s enough. But you need to have unlimited willpower for this to be enough on its own.

Step 2: So What?  – You need to be clear about exactly why this is important to you? What benefit will you get from achieving the goal or overcoming the challenge? What difference will it make to you?

You need to emotionally invest in your goal.

Step 3: Now What? – Here we get clear on specific actions. What will you need to do – daily, weekly, monthly – to achieve the goal? How will you know when you have got there? And crucially what will you do when things slip or an obstacle gets in the way?

Why not try some short sharp POWER HOUR COACHING to kickstart your resolutions and keep you on track?

Simple affordable access to a coach for a focused conversation on exactly what you need to do to establish, achieve and sustain your goals in 2019?  Click here for more information.

Adapted from: Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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