New Year’s Resolutions…make’em, break ‘em…love them and leave them…
January always starts well. Gyms heave with newly declared gym bunnies. Nutri-bullet super-smoothies pack out the office fridge. Long-dormant saving accounts are optimistically awoken.
So what happens between the 1st of January and the 31st of December? Why does our resolve dissolve?
The obvious answer is that ‘Life’ happens…in many wonderful and chaotic ways. Nevertheless, there might just be a few things we can do…steps we can take…to contain the chaos and sustain our renewed drive.
Here are my top three tips…
- “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
Writing out your resolutions is an essential first step. Find a quiet moment, have a think and put pen to paper. Take time to consider the previous year. What were your successes? What obstacles were overcome? What challenges did you face?
I’m all for living in the present moment, but a little planning goes a long way. Although we cannot predict life…time and focus invested at this initial stage is invaluable and could make all the difference in the year to come.
When considering your 2017 ambitions; don’t censor or underestimate yourself! DREAM BIG! You are capable of a lot and 365 days is a long time! Don’t be scared to throw in a few Big A$$ projects in there. Remember…‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’
Perhaps you’ll discover that you want to achieve one major goal. Or maybe many will occur – covering various aspects of life. There’s no right or wrong as we’re all so different…listen to your heart and what is right for you.
If your tend to have numerous goals it might be a good idea to prioritise. Last time I checked 2017 is set to have the same number of hours as 2016! Be honest with yourself and don’t try to do too much. Invest time in the goals that matter most.
With your ‘2017 Intentions’ decided, now take the time to write (or print) them out neatly. If lists aren’t your thing, why not try creating a vision board. Keep it fun for yourself…maybe use colours and pictures… make it your work of art! When you’re finished, proudly display it somewhere you’ll see it everyday…on your bedroom mirror or laptop screen saver perhaps. Seeing it every day will hopefully inspire and maintain your positive momentum.
- “To keep on care it you’ve got to water it” –Barrington Levy
By telling a friend or a group of friends what you intend to achieve in the year to come, you are openly declaring your dreams and ambitions to the universe. Perhaps you can buddy up with a friend who has similar goals and hold each other accountable…checking in with each other at scheduled intervals. I don’t know why but letting a friend down can feel so much worse than letting yourself down. So why not put that sentiment to use. It will likely strengthen your friendship too – bonus!
You can also schedule a regular check in with yourself. Put it in your diary – monthly or bimonthly. Many workplaces encourage their employees to check in with their managers on a regular basis, to see if they’re ‘on track’…so why not do it in our personal lives? Make time to sit down and evaluate how you’re doing. What elements of your approach are working/not working? Do you need to make any tweaks?
Importantly, use the opportunity to congratulate yourself on successes so far! (if you’ve earned it!) Maybe even reward yourself with little prizes. For instance if you’re trying to save money, spending a little bit on something small can be the reward you need to encourage you to keep going.
Think ‘marathon’ not ‘sprint’. The reason many gyms start to vacate by February is that new gym goers go hard in the first few weeks of the year and run out of steam fast. It can be very demotivating to realise that we can’t stick to a strict workout regime, or a new time-consuming hobby. It might therefore work out better, in the long run, to introduce new habits slowly, in a sustainable way.
- “Creativity is intelligence having fun” -Albert Einstein
You might be intimidated by some of your resolutions, don’t let that detract you from your intention. Remember that renewed drive can come from keeping your approach fresh, through creativity. Want to see a friend more and try new sporty activities…why not combine the two and get a ClassPass to check out the latest workout trend with your friend!
Working towards your goals may feel difficult and sometimes even boring. After all ‘nothing worth having comes easy’. So whether it’s eating more broccoli and less pizza, or watching less TV and reading more, finding the joy will keep you on track.
If you want to get more active, pick an activity that you find fun. It’s a lot easier to get up in the dark and cold AM for something fun, than to run mindlessly on a treadmill (unless that floats your boat!)
There are bound to be ups and downs, just keep at it you got this!