Hey friend. It's that time of year again.
The closing of the old, the dawn of the new. The new year's resolutions. So much possibility...so much pressure. How often do your resolutions stick? Or have you given up on them altogether, because of past failures? Eating healthier, getting in shape, cultivating a meditation practice, gratitude journaling, having more patience with your kids, making a bigger dent in your student loans, spending more time with your friends, starting that blog or business idea. Whatever your new year's resolution, lasting change is hard.
Here are four key strategies to make your New Year's resolutions come true.
1) UNCOVERING THE WHY
This is going to be work. Yep. I said it. Work. So what will make the work worth it? Uncovering the why is about more than just what changes you want to make, it's about getting clear about the vision for your life. Ask yourself these questions to access your motivation at a deep level:
What will this resolution allow me to do? How will it change my life? What will it feel like?
Be specific, and don't shortchange this step. Dedicate some time to sit down, journal, visualize, feel the feeling in your body. If you can't make the time to do this, then maybe this resolution is not that important to you, or maybe it's your idea of what you think you should be doing, but isn't where you actually want to focus your energy. In that case, let it go!
For me, daily coffee drinker since high school, I was able to give up that love of my life/addiction because I feel SO much better without it. I totally get why for some people it would be a toss up between say, giving up coffee and their first born child. But for me, my life is infinitely better, and that keeps me going. Motivation at a deep level.
2) UNPACK THE BARRIERS
Ok, so we've established that this is something you really want. So why aren't you doing it already? I mean that in a totally judgement free way. There is a reason - likely many reasons - why you aren't doing this already. So what are they?
You have to plan around the roadblocks if you want to be successful in navigating them.
Is your schedule too tight? Are you busy taking care of your kids/family/everyone else around you? Are you too self-conscious to take a yoga class? Do you have no clue how to meditate?
Good. Now you can plan around it.
True story: I walked out on my first yoga class. I felt really self-conscious, am not naturally flexible and didn't have a dance background or anything, and had no clue why we kept bending over and standing back up, causing all the blood to rush to my head, so I left...fast forward a few years, and I'm a registered yoga teacher. How did I get here? I knew I wanted to give yoga a shot, but I knew jumping into a 75 minute class in a public setting was just not going to happen, so I started doing simple beginner yoga videos at home until I was comfortable enough with the basics to give a class a try again. And then I fell in love. A small step that literally changed the course of my life.
It might mean starting small. (Ahem, beginner yoga videos.)
If your resolution is eating healthier and cooking at home more, that means things like planning a weekly grocery list, the day you'll shop, and the days you'll cook. It might mean talking to people to enlist some help, or finding an expert guide. It might have a whole domino effect on other things in your life. If you really want it (step 1!), prepare for and plan around the barriers.
3) CHECK THE SCOPE
Get real. Is this resolution realistic? Is it doable? Is it something you really want?
Or is it maybe something you think you should want, based on other people's expectations? You might have a dream to fit into a certain size jean, or run a marathon, but is it actually possible? Is it sustainable? And oh so importantly, is it going to make your life better?
Remember - this goal is about enhancing your life!
Unattainable expectations are a form of self-sabotage. Alternately, if meeting this goal requires sacrifice that actually detracts from your health and happiness, then it defeats the purpose. Please please don't do that!
4) FIND A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Find a metaphorical running buddy. (Or literal running buddy if running is your goal.) Find a like-minded group of people. Find a coach. In person, online, whatever works. Whatever your goal, having support helps sustain the motivation to keep going when things get hard, provides encouragement and support to keep going through the setbacks, and also helps establish a new normal. It's not fun when you feel like the lone weirdo doing xyz, but it can be exciting when you've got a whole community of weirdos!
BONUS TIP: CELEBRATE
Big change is created out of lots of small steps. Celebrate those little steps along the way. We don't tell toddlers that crawling is a waste of time, we clap and cheer and say "yay, look at you!" Celebrate your crawling, keep going, and eventually you'll be walking on your own two feet.
Happy New Year friends, may your New Year's Resolutions Come True. Comment below with your experience with your experience with New Year's Resolutions.
Grow Happy, Grow Healthy