3 Ways To Keep Your New Year's Resolutions!
Updated: Feb 21, 2021
The new year is upon us!
During this time of year, many of us turn inward. We begin to reflect upon our year. This year has been extremely unusual, full of unique challenges, hardships and perhaps even some opportunities. We have been forced to adapt to a changing world. Perhaps we have this strong desire to erase 2020 from our minds. We may be eager for that fresh start. A new beginning. A clean slate. I can completely understand and relate to this sentiment. With that being said, 2020 is a part of our journey. It has shaped us in some way. I invite you to take a moment to reflect upon ONE thing that you appreciate about 2020. One thing or person that you are grateful for. It could be related to your basic needs, friendships, your family members and loved ones, nature, quiet moments, and so on. Perhaps adopting a gratitude practice can create a shift in mindset or perspective. Maybe, maybe not. It is all good because you are entitled to feel how you feel.
Alright, let’s talk about New Year’s resolutions! Many of us (myself included) create resolutions or goals at the start of a new year. It is an exciting time! This is a time in which we can develop new habits and routines intended to bring about positive change to our lives. Many of us start the new year off strong, sticking with that resolution. Some of us may abandon that resolution at some point in the year due to a variety of reasons. Please know that this is okay. It happens. It is all a part of the process and the journey!
The purpose of this blog post is to provide strategies that can help us keep our New Year’s resolutions. So, what can we do to increase the likelihood of sticking with our resolution?
1. Create SMART Goals and Plan Ahead!
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. I will illustrate this using an example.
Perhaps your goal is to “exercise more.” You write that down on a piece of paper and that’s that! This is a great goal to have; however, it does not meet the requirements for a “SMART goal.” Let’s elaborate on this goal by answering the following questions:
Why do I want to exercise more (consider your intention)?
What steps can I take to achieve this goal?
How will I monitor my progress?
What does my time frame look like?
Is this realistic?
SMART Goal: “I would like to exercise more so that way I can feel better. Exercise can help reduce stress and give me a boost in energy. I can accomplish this by going to the gym three times a week. I will go to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday as these days work best with my schedule. I will commit to working out for one hour at the gym. I will do a combination of strength training exercises, cardio and yoga. If the gym is unavailable due to closures, I will exercise at home using YouTube videos. I will use my phone to keep track of the days I work out and the number of hours. To help keep me motivated, I will go to the gym with my accountability partner. I know that there may be days in which I cannot make it to the gym due to things beyond my control. I can exercise at home on those days. I also understand that I may have days in which I do not want to work out. That is okay. It is a part of the process. Perhaps I do 5-10 minutes of movement instead of an hour workout. I will celebrate my wins along the way!”
By creating SMART goals and having a plan of action, we are more likely to stick to those resolutions! Perhaps choose one resolution to start. You can always add new resolutions throughout the year!
2. Anticipate Challenging Moments!
Every day will be different. Each day presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. Setbacks are normal and to be expected. I will illustrate this with a personal example.
One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2020 was to let go of making comparisons. To be more specific, my resolution was to stop comparing myself to others in relation to achievements. Making comparisons is a habit that I developed early on in life. Therefore, it was a difficult habit to just simply let go of. I did not anticipate just how challenging this resolution would be for me. Whenever I slipped up, I would engage in negative self-talk. I became frustrated with myself and felt like a failure. These thoughts were causing harm to my physical, mental and emotional bodies.
It has taken me some time to realize that failure is a part of the process. It is a part of the journey. I can learn and grow from this experience. With all this in mind, expect there to be challenging moments throughout your year. Take a moment to breathe, re-evaluate, plan, and persevere! YOU GOT THIS!!!
3. Celebrate Your Wins!
No matter how big or small your wins are, CELEBRATE it! Share your wins with friends, family, loved ones, colleagues, and so forth. Perhaps you plan a reward f