Every new year’s eve, millions of people proclaim their future in the form of what we call a “new years resolution”. Some people make these proclamations to others and some people choose not to share, like their own little secret. Whatever the chosen method, every person steps into the new year to face their new found wish, expectation, decision or whatever you call it. Day one is the easy part and sometimes the first 7 days aren’t all that bad. But typically by February, all that December passion and motivation has sizzled out and you’re left with the same routines you had last year. If you were one of the ones to tell all your friends about how you’re going to start dieting and exercising in the new year – you are now the one with all the excuses of why you can’t. If you kept it to yourself, well lucky you, you got off without having to explain it to anyone. I’ve been there on far more than one occasion. The future is always bright from where we stand in our imagination – reality, not so much.
Don’t get frustrated! There are a few tips to sticking to those resolutions you really want to keep.
Make sure your resolution is realistic for where you’re at. Often times, in excitement, we put pressure on ourselves to achieve something that may actually take a little longer from where we are standing. I can’t expect myself to lose 30 pounds in a month, or even two months, if I’ve never worked out before and my diet needs major conditioning. Honestly you shouldn’t be losing 30 pounds in two months anyway but for someone who has zero experience with healthy eating and exercise that may not seem like an unrealistic goal. Maybe start with going to the gym twice a week and cutting soda from your diet, then move forward from there. Maybe your resolution is to change your career, again you should think on what the path looks like and start a little at a time. When choosing a new resolution, choose one that is attainable and one that means something to you. Which brings us to our next tip.
Ask yourself why –
If I just say that I’m going to do something different or change something about myself and I never really think about why I am choosing this thing and why it means so much to me then I will lose all motivation by Friday. Our words hold a lot of power so proclaim something that you seriously plan on trying to accomplish. When you find the reasons why it is important to you, write them down. You’re going to lose motivation at some point, you’re going to find a bunch of easy excuses for yourself and then you’re going to just quit altogether. When you have a daily reminder somewhere or something to look back to and read on why it’s important to you, it will give you a fresh breath to keep pushing.
It’s ok to make a mistake –
But the point is to start again. There have been times for myself, and my friends, where you’ve made this promise to diet or exercise. Then one week it just seems like all hell has broken loose and by Friday the only thing that looks attainable is the number one, large, at Mc Donalds. (Which is a Big Mac by the way – don’t judge – yes I eat that shit sometimes) It is totally ok to fall of the wagon from time to time, only as long as you get back on the wagon shortly after. Respect yourself enough to get back to it as soon as possible. If everything great was attainable only through perfection we would all suck at life.
Don’t wait until new year’s eve to change –
Maybe you really didn’t have a moving proclamation for yourself this past new year or maybe you couldn’t think of anything, that’s ok. You don’t need a “new year” to make a change or try something new or challenge yourself. Maybe in the middle of April after a long drunken weekend out you realize you need to budget or drink less – start then. Maybe after 5 years at a miserable dead end job you decide you can’t take anymore and want to go back to school – start then. You don’t need a new year or a Monday to freshen up your life.
If you don’t plan on making any changes or sticking to your words – keep quiet and think on that. If you’re the person, and you know who you are, who says you’re going to stop drinking, pay off your debt, start exercising, start dieting, leave that guy, or whatever other promises you tend to make at midnight on January 1st – maybe you shouldn’t. We seriously disrespect ourselves when we say we’re going to do something and then don’t even try, or have no intention of attempting to do anything we say. Not to mention that no one takes us seriously – ever! Maybe start with that – respecting yourself enough to do something that you tell yourself you’re going to do. I love this little nugget from Andy Andrews’ book The Little Things, “As little a thing as quitting can seem in the moment, it moves you in a direction and creates a mind-set that you can begin to see as normal”. Don’t make lying to yourself seem normal – stick to something.
So if you made a resolution – all hope is not lost. 🙂 Find what motivates you to stick to it, so you can shoot for something new 12 months from now! Happy new year! ❤