New Year, Same You?
January 1st: The gym is packed- no open treadmills, every weight is taken, and everyone is starting the new year strong.
February 1st: the gym is back to its normal capacity.
As a pre-Covid gym regular, I know this phenomenon all too well. But, it begs the question: how do we make our new year's resolutions stick? Well, today I’m going to tell you exactly how!
1. Baby Steps
When making your list, try to avoid starting off with huge goals like “lose 20 lbs” It can be frustrating when you want to lose 10 lbs and you only lose 5lbs. But, it’s important to remember the point of “new year, new me” is not the extent of change, but the presence of it. Take time to reflect on where you were in the previous year, and where you are now. Even if there is the slightest positive change, that is a reason to celebrate! When we get bogged down and discouraged by numbers it turns our resolution, which should be a positive thing, into a chore. By focusing on the quality and effort of your actions rather than the quantity of them, you will become more content with yourself and your progress.
2. Make A Detailed Plan
If you’re truly dedicated to making a change, you’ll need to put the effort into creating a detailed plan or schedule which will give you a tangible expectation to follow and allow you to better stick to your goals. Also, when you face temptations or other obstacles in your resolution, having a concrete plan will provide good support to get you back on track, should you stumble. I know I’ve tried to be healthier without scheduling. Plot twist: it didn’t work. By not scheduling specific workout times and meals, my goal was dependent on how I was feeling in the moment. But when I bought a planner and made a detailed plan for my activities with predetermined times, it was a constant reminder of exactly HOW I would achieve my goal.
3. Be Very Specific
Avoid vague, broad goals like “be a better person.” Instead, decide on specific action-behavior that will eventually lead to your larger goal. In what specific ways do you want to be a better version of your current self?. You could start with “compliment 5 people a day” or “reach out to Rachel and resolve our current argument.” By creating smaller goals leading to a larger one, you’ll be able to cross more items off your list, which will allow you to feel more accomplished. Consequently, you will feel increased motivation, knowing that your goals are attainable.
4. Got a Secret, Can You Keep It?
I know when I’m working on changing something about myself, I like to keep it to myself. But, accountability can be the difference between success and failure. Don’t let the weight of accomplishing your goal fall only on you. Tell a trusted friend, mentor, or family member about your goals, so that they can be a source of encouragement and accountability. Let’s say you want to reduce the time you spend on social media, it is easy to sneak in extra minutes here and there, but with an accountability partner, you’d have someone reminding you to log off.I remember last year when I was working on healthy eating, whenever my sister saw me reaching for more dessert than I needed, she’d ask “Do you need that?” To which I’d respond “no; but.” Then after a 2-minute silent fight, I’d sit back down without that delicious, but sugar-filled cake. In the moment, you may get annoyed and feel like your accountability partner is keeping tabs on you, but when you face obstacles, you’ll be glad you have an angel on your shoulder, pushing you to be the best you can be.
5. It’s Never Too Late
Even though New Year's Day has passed, you don’t need to wait till next year to start your resolution. Start today! Your life starts when you start taking control. Today is a good day to start a new, enhanced life! So, make the conscious decision to put in the work now, so you can look back and feel proud with the person you’ve become. The cost of procrastination is the life you could’ve had!
Now my friends, go out and make your resolution last! I’m cheering you on.