Nailed it. Making Resolutions that You Can Hammer Out and Win at!
Happy New. Year. New You. New fresh start.
More chances to bring happiness to your life.
That’s why we make New Year’s Resolutions. We make them to bring about something better, to improve our lives, and make ourselves and others happy. And, even though I think resolutions get a lot of flack for not working, I really think resolutions are a positive thing.
Because a resolution is just a promise, a goal, a try at improving or helping ourselves with something. Setting new goals, and trying to improve is always a positive thing. Plus, just because we don’t always follow through on it, the fact that we set a goal is just as important as achieving it. Even if we have to try, and try again.
I don’t often make big changes on the first try. So, why should our resolutions be something different. Why do we hold them so high up and then if we don’t make it say that resolutions are useless? I set goals, all year long. Sometimes I hit them. Sometimes I don’t. That doesn’t mean that setting the goals was stupid or that it didn’t work. It just didn’t happen for you this time. THAT’S OK!
Then you regroup and set the goal again, maybe a little smaller, or with better support or different resources. That’s why I encourage you to do something this year.
Make that resolution. Don’t feel like just because last year it didn’t work out, that this year it won’t. But this time, let’s take it a few steps further. When you make your resolutions do three additional things.
1. Reflect on what hasn’t worked in the past. – This is essential because knowing where you made the mistake is how you avoid making it again. For example if your mistake last time was going cold turkey, instead of easing off something, then now you know that approach didn’t work for you.
2. Make a timeline, with actionable steps. – Even if it’s small ones. Break it down into easy, digestible steps. If a step makes you quiver on the inside, it might be too much so break it into 2 or 3 smaller steps. Then write these down on a calendar, put it in your phone and set reminders to yourself all over the place.
3. Get the support you need. Coach, books, courses, support buddy. – Any support is good. Cheaper versions are YouTube videos, library books, or just a friend. But if you’re looking for that extra boost, courses and coaches can be essential to realizing your goals. Investing in something like that could change your life if this is important to you. You could YouTube piano lessons, but chances are that a face to face coach might be more motivating and easier to learn from. You save for the things you want in the store, you can do the same for a coach. Every little bit helps.
And then work to hit your goals. If you slide back, it’s ok. Don’t give up. This isn’t an all or nothing. This is a try, try, and try again. It’s ok to have setbacks.
Let’s recap on some of my past resolutions:
2012 – Give up fast food – Lasted till march that year.
2013 – Give up McDonalds – Lasted all year! Went 2 times. Way better than the 3 times a week before.
2014 – Go to the Gym 5 Days a Week – Didn’t happen at all. Went to the gym 2 times a week for 6 months. (I wasn’t going at all before unless it was sporadically)
2015 – Give up fast food – Lasted 3 months. Then just went 2-3 times a week instead of my everyday.
2015 – Give up soda – Lasted till august. Then just had one at dinners out or at parties with friends. Now I drink it maybe once a month.
So you can see how these all played out. Some would say “you broke your resolutions”, but I say who cares. In every scenario I might not have reached my lofty goal, but it improved my life. They started the path to changes that still benefit my life every day. I don’t do the gym 5 days a week, but I have learned to enjoy working out. That in itself is a huge step. I didn’t give up fast food completely, but now I have it as treat meals and not my everyday food like I was five years ago.
So don’t give up on your resolutions. It’s ok to get started and realize maybe it was too much at once, and start slow.
Current situation: I drink four sodas a day
Resolution: I want to give up soda completely this year
Where did you go wrong or would you go wrong – quitting cold turkey because that crap is intense!
Make a Plan – Start in January by just having one less soda a day. Write it on a calendar and set reminders on your phone.
January- 3 sodas a day
February – 2 soda a day
March – 1 soda a day
April – 1 soda every other day
May – 1 soda every three day
June – 1 soda once a week
July – 1 soda at special occasions like birthday parties
Aug – … and there you have it …you gave up soda 99% of the time.
Find Support – Someone else might be giving this up too, ask them to join you and help keep you motivated to do it. Even if they aren’t giving up soda and it’s bags of chips, it still works. Then start executing your plan!
Every little bit helps. Follow the steps for each of your resolutions (goals) and you will be more likely to hit them this year. This year my goals are to read a little longer in bed each night (by getting in bed a tad earlier – 10 mins to start – all the way to 30), do one relaxing thing week for myself (hot bath, massage, or yoga), and to save money by eating out only 1 time per week (with the first 3 months of the year a $20 limit).
I also set a fitness goal to add three days of guided workouts into my week. This could be a 30 minute HIIT session or a fun hour of kickboxing. Working out at the gym can get boring to me, so for this one, I found a support system. My finance and three of my friends are all going to be doing other activities that I’ll join them in. I even paid for a year membership to stream workouts into my house – invest in yourself.
If you think you need a coach, especially in the health department, I recommend really going for it. Health and wellness can be tricky. There is a lot of information out there and figuring it all out can be hard. A good place to start are the fitness centers you go to, ask around for good coaches. Another option, if you like the flexibility of being online, is to join an online coach who does phone session or skype sessions on your journey. These coaches are just as qualified with years of experience and credentials with the bonus that you can get coached while sitting in your pajamas. The accountability alone is worth it. I have gone this method twice, (with two different coaches for two different goals) and cannot say enough about the help they provided me.
Resolutions can be met with a little bit of planning and just giving yourself a dang break! Noone said you had to do it alone. No one says you have to be perfect (and if they do, they need to sit down), so just keep trying. If you want it bad enough, you’ll take the step you need to turn your resolution into action and your actions into wins!