New Year New Resolution... this time for keeps!
Here we are. 2019
With the stress and temptation of the holidays in the past, that New Year's Resolution should be a breeze, right? Not so fast! If resolutions were so easy to keep, the internet wouldn't be swimming in "broke your resolution" memes and jokes. That being said, there's nothing wrong with using humor to accept human nature and the truth that New Year's Resolutions are easy to make and easy to break.
If you're serious about a resolution and you're wanting to make a positive change in your life, here are some pointers on how to make your resolution stick.
Be realistic and think small. Start with one resolution. Too much change at once can be overwhelming and set you up for failure. Pick one change that feels do-able to you and execute it in a way that works for you. Examples...
- You want to get into shape but your busy lifestyle is making it complicated to find time to go to the gym. Resolve to take the stairs whenever possible and park farther away from all buildings. Time commitment has been greatly reduced and you will be getting in extra steps both horizontal and vertical.
- You want to eat better but hate dieting or haven't researched "the right diet" for you. Start out simple. Cut "extra sugar". You don't have to read labels and remove every smidge of sugar in every sauce, dressing or bread. Instead, cut sweets in general. No more soda, juice or other sugary beverages. Don't eat candy, cookies or desserts. This allows you to cut back on empty calories but still enjoy healthy foods you love.
- You have a New Year's Resolution LIST. Start with one thing on your list. When you've accomplished the first, you can celebrate by moving onto the next.
Set yourself up for success. If you're wanting to lose weight, remove tempting junk food from your home. If you're wanting to exercise, start by creating a plan of what exercise works best for you along with a time and place that fits with your lifestyle. Looking to start a new business or hobby? You'll need to start with a plan that will lay out the action steps towards success. If you haven't set yourself up to start the action, realize that planning IS part of the action and start there. Baby steps count as we all have to start somewhere.
Forgiveness. If you slip up, forgive yourself and continue on. Don't give up on yourself or start over. Progress is forward motion. If you catch yourself slipping on your resolution, give yourself credit for recognizing your slip, pat yourself on the back for your good efforts thus far, forgive yourself and move on. Beating yourself up or quitting stops all progress and will have you feeling bad. Be your own best friend and help yourself back on track.
Slow and steady wins the race. Don't expect huge change to happen fast. Results may be slow and steady but that's okay. Every positive step is a good one. Rather than focusing on immediate results, keep the long-term goal in mind. Check in on progress/results weekly rather than daily, but keep the momentum going.
Remember the 21/90 rule. It takes at least 21 days to create a new habit (longer for harder goals) and 90 days to create a lifestyle. In other words, at the 21 day mark you're well on your way to success by creating a good habit. You must now practice that habit until the 90 day mark to complete the change from habit to lifestyle. If you're looking for markers, a New Year's Resolution started on January 1st might be a habit by the end of January, and by April 1st you will be no fool because your good habit should now be a lifestyle!
Attitude is everything. Keep it positive. Back yourself with positive people who will support you. Pick dates on your calendar to write positively reinforcing messages to yourself. Practice affirmations to keep yourself in a good mindset. Keep a journal to track your progress and write about your journey. Be patient with yourself. Change can be hard. Be proud of your efforts and celebrate yourself.
Wishing you a Happy New Year.