Happy New Year!
We didn’t quite make it to midnight at our house. We’re nursing some sort of bug we caught while traveling and decided to call it an early night. More rest is always better, plus we’ve never really been night owls anyways.
Now that we’ve entered into a new year, you’re probably starting to consider setting a resolution or a goal. To be honest, I love New Years. I love the clean slate it brings, the hope for change, and the fresh beginning it gives us. It can be a great time to capitalize on goals you’ve been putting off because the time just feels right.
However, you’re also probably heard that most of us ditch our resolutions by February. While goals are great, we can either set meaningful realistic goals, or goals that just don’t make the cut.
Below, is my guide to help you set resolutions which will help you feel empowered, strong, and confident.
And those that you’ll still be dedicated to come February and July! Once you’ve read the tips, feel free to comment below or message me if you have further questions!
1. Get picky. Many of us want to lose weight, run a 5K, have a cleaner, more organized home, and meditate every day. And we also try to put all of these changes into effect January 1st or 2nd. Too many changes at once is a one way ticket to burnout.
There is a thing called “decision fatigue” which we all struggle with. The more times we have to make a decision each day, the more tired we become and revert to something we consider easy. Therefore, if you have to decide to choose the salad over the sandwich, and then decide to get up 30 minutes early to run, and decide to put away the laundry, you’ll eventually get to the end of the day and push play on Netflix vs. sitting down for your meditation.
This first week of the new year is a great time to journal and explore what’s really important to you. Consider this your prep week! Preparation is the key to success. You may find you have many changes you’d find beneficial to make, however consider what is most important to you right now. Is it running the 5K? Great! You don’t have to forget about the other goals you have, just table them for a month or so until you adjust to the changes needed to run your 5K.
2. Stay action oriented. Let’s stick with the “run a 5K goal” for the rest of the list. Great! You’ve set the goal to run a 5K. But….now what? Usually when we set goals, we choose the outcome we want to see. “I’d like to run a 5K” or “I’d like to lose 20 pounds” or “I want my closet to be organized”. However, once we set the goal, we don’t have a clear vision on how to get there.
That’s where action items come into play. Take a few minutes to write down the things you will need to do, how often you will need to do them, and when you will need to do them in order to see the outcome you’re working towards. For running a 5K it might look like:
– Choose a 5K in April and sign up for it!
– Get up 2x during the week at 6am to run for 30 minutes.
– Run 45 minutes on Saturday morning
– Get fit for a new pair of running shoes
Now you have your game plan! It’s easier to know what you need to do each day to reach the goal.
3. Choose 3 or less action items to implement per week. Consider this the pickiness rule of action items. The more things you try to change at once, the harder it is to make it a habit.
4, Check-in regularly. I recommend checking in weekly and monthly towards your goals. Maybe an action item is feeling easier (almost like a habit). That’s when you know you could tack on a new action item. If you’ve reached your goal, it’s time to go back to your original journal (step 1) and see where your priorities lie now with the items that were important to you.
Getting prepared and creating a clear plan are the two keys to making sure you’re reaching your resolutions.
What are my resolutions for this year?
I’ve had one resolution the past few years which I try to stick with all 12 months and that’s read one book per month. Each year I’ve read about 8 or 9, but just having a target to reach helps me remember that I do love reading and it’s a great way to get my eyes off a screen and to de-stress at the end of the day.
Other resolutions? I’m working on meditation for the month January. My action item is to use Calm.com for a 5 to 10 minute meditation each day along with reading at least one verse from the Bible.
I’m also trying out a smoothie a day for 7 days. After a week of indulging, I’m craving healthy foods, so I’m having a veggie and fruit packed smoothie each morning January 1 – 7! I’m using the challenge from Simple Green Smoothies if you want to join along
Want more ideas on creating lasting change? Check out the book “Better than Before” by Gretchen Rubin. It’s one of the books I read in 2016 and I recommend it to everyone.