• Lead Beyond Doubt
  • Posts
  • Why Tiny Changes, Not Big Resolutions, Will Transform Your 2024

Why Tiny Changes, Not Big Resolutions, Will Transform Your 2024

Welcome to my first email of 2024! A very Happy New Year to you all and welcome back.

This year, my promise is to continue to support you in navigating any personal and professional challenges that hold you back from achieving the career, life and impact you want.

Expect insights and highly actionable strategies in an easy-to-consume format.

Not for you? Simply scroll to the bottom of this email to unsubscribe and I truly wish you all the best.

If you’re sticking around, let’s dive in…

It's that time again – New Year's resolutions. How many did you make? And are you still sticking to them?

From personal experience and through coaching leaders, I've noticed that bold resolutions, whether made in January or any other time of the year, often vanish within a month or two.

Last year, I discovered James Clear’s “Atomic Habits”, a fascinating read which changed my views on how we should approach achieving major resolutions or goals. Read on to find out how applying this in your life could be a game changer.

The Problem with Resolutions

A study by Forbes revealed that 80% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by February. Resolutions fail because they're often based on what we should do, not what’s achievable. They're usually too big, too vague, and lack a tangible plan.

A Better Way: Atomic Habits

In "Atomic Habits", James Clear dispels the idea that big changes happen overnight. Instead, it's about subtle yet consistent improvements—getting 1% better each day. Think of it as a manageable steady climb rather than a sprint.

Small Changes, Big Results

The beauty of the ‘Atomic Habits’ approach is its simplicity and sustainability. It's easier to commit to reading one page of a book every night than to finish a novel in a week. That one page might turn into a chapter over time, and before you know it, you're reading regularly. Small changes stick because they're manageable and less intimidating.

Applying Atomic Habits

  1. Start Small: Choose a habit that's so straightforward, you have zero excuses to skip it. Want to get moving? Commit to just five minutes of exercise each day. Looking to enhance your leadership? Spend a few minutes daily on active listening or initiate one honest conversation with a team member each week.

  2. Build on It: As these small actions become second nature, expand on them. Turn those five minutes into a full workout session, increase the frequency of your honest conversations, or set a weekly goal for team feedback sessions. It's about progressive improvement, not instant perfection.

  3. Be Consistent: Consistency trumps intensity every time. It's more effective to exercise for 15 minutes each day than to do an hour once a week. In leadership, regular practice of your skills will lead to significant improvements.

  4. Track Your Progress: Visibility is key to maintaining your new habits. Keep a habit tracker or mark off each day on your calendar when you complete a task to see your progress over time.

  5. Add Complexity: Once you’re comfortable with the habit, introduce more complexity. For exercise, this might mean adding weights or increasing intensity. For leadership, it might mean handling more complex team issues or striving to achieve higher goals within your organisation through consistent, daily efforts.

Real-Life Success

This approach has been transformational for a number of my coaching clients. I worked with one client who felt underpaid and undervalued. She wanted a better job to match her skills and experience but lacked confidence. Together, we broke down her journey into micro-goals: updating her CV, networking weekly, applying for roles twice a week, and weekly reflection on her successes. These small steps built her confidence and within months, she landed a phenomenal job, with a salary well beyond her initial goal.

Another success involved a highly experienced professional facing a new senior leadership role. Despite his experience, imposter syndrome crept in. We focused on incremental improvements: refining body language for more authority, practising daily affirmations for self-assurance and role-playing to master honest conversations. These small changes steadily built his confidence, helping him to excel in his new role.

Takeaway

So, forget the grand New Year's resolutions. It’s the small daily steps that count. By the end of the year, it’s these incremental steps that will add up to real significant progress.

Thanks for reading and a very warm welcome to everyone who’s recently subscribed 👋, I’m thrilled you’re part of the community.

Until next time,

Kaley ✨

If you enjoyed this article and know anyone that may benefit from reading it, please do share it with them. My mission is to help as many leaders as possible create the career, life and impact they want. 🚀

You can also follow me on social media by clicking the links below ⬇️

Join the conversation

or to participate.