FACT: New Year’s resolutions set you up for failure.
Think about it: Pretty much every New Year’s resolution involves giving something up (“I’m going to stop eating ALL the junk food.”) or drastically changing your life (“I’m going to work out 5 days a week!”).
Reality: You’ll go two days without chocolate and want to murder everyone in sight, which leads you to binge on ALL THE CHOCOLATE you can find. Or you’ll go to the gym for the first week and then you’re “too sore,” so you take time off – which lasts until NEXT January.
Hey, no judgement. I’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt many (many, many) times over.
While it’s all good and well to want to make changes in the new year, be sure you’re doing it the right way.
Step one: Be realistic.
Big changes happen by making lots of LITTLE changes. Break your “resolution” into smaller goals. Baby steps.
For example: “I want to eat healthier” is one I hear a lot. FABULOUS. How are you going to do that? “Stop eating junk food.”Awesome. Which junk food? “Cookies, candy, cakes, pie, chips, etc.” Great! Start with ONE of those things and kick it to the curb for a week. Then add another one. And another one. And another one. Until you get to the point where you’re not longer eating ALL THE JUNK FOOD.
Another example: “I need to get back in shape.” Don’t we all? Again, how are you going to do that? “Go to the gym 5 days a week.” Is that realistic? When are you REALLY going to fit this in? How about aim for 1-2 days a week? If that works well for a few weeks, add another day.
Be as specific as possible with your goals. Then map out how you’re going to implement it.
Step two: Do it for the right reason.
Be crystal clear about why you’re making this particular resolution. Is it because you’re ready to make a change? Or is it because you feel you “need” a resolution? If you’re not really ready, you’re going to fail, because you don’t want it enough.
It’s OK if you’re not ready. Just be truthful to yourself. Don’t say you’re ready, and then not follow through, because you’ll be disappointed in yourself for failing.
Instead, if you allow yourself to be OK with not being ready, then when you ARE ready, you will have that much more confidence you can follow through.
Trust me – when you are really, truly ready, all changes will seem easy.
Step three: Be flexible.
We all want that magic pill that makes us perfect by summer. But, it ain’t out there. Seriously. Stop looking. You’ve got to do the work.
If you fall off the wagon (and we all do – yes, even me), just get right back up on there. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t focus on your mistakes. Don’t worry about what people will say or think. Go back to step two and remember WHY you made this your goal. And then get right back at it.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat.