The Secret to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution
I am an instant gratification kind of girl. I take no pleasure from the “process” – I want results and finish lines now, now, NOW! I don’t have collections of anything because it would drive me crazy to create a collection piece by agonizing piece over months, years, and OMG decades.
Needless to say, this mentality has not always served me well. It makes me change things before they’ve had a chance to work. It makes me start things before I’m ready (y’all, I ran a marathon only 2 years after I started running! Not my best decision…) and it keeps me in a constant state of a “get it done” frenzy.
There is a better way.
Show of hands – who else has made their resolutions with the same all or nothing mentality? Lose 30 pounds! Run a marathon! Organize my entire life! Journal every day and night!
You get the picture.
These are huge goals and what most of us tend to do is go all in. Salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until those 30 pounds melt away or until we are starving, miserable, “hangry”, and vitamin-deficient. Very likely that it’s the latter that makes us throw in the towel after 2 weeks.
Did you know the average time most people keep their resolutions is 16 days?
So here is the big secret: Baby steps.
Embrace the idea that any step in the right direction is closer to your goal.
Replace just 3 meals a week with a healthy salad. Make time for just 2 extra walks per week with your dog, even if they are 15 minutes!
I resolve every year to floss more. But here’s the thing: I hate flossing. I HATE IT. And frankly, flossing isn’t the goal – healthy teeth and gums are the goal. So instead of dreading an evening routine that starts with flossing, I bought a Water Pick, promised to use it twice a week (get your frequency on a calendar and get reminders), and then see my dentist for cleanings 3 times a year instead of twice. Same result – healthy teeth and gums – but less of the crap I hate. And zero guilt for never hitting my floss-every-day resolution.
Are you trying to prioritize a self-care routine that includes an hour a day to indulge yourself? You are not failing at your goal if you take 10 minutes twice a week to read a few pages of the book that has been collecting dust on your nightstand. Or 15 minutes a day to play with your cat.
- Start by defining your end goal. Spend more time outdoors instead of in front of electronics.
- Choose one small step in that direction. Add 2 extra dog walks per week.
- Get it on your calendar and set reminders. Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm: Walk my pooch around the block.
Be gentle with yourself. Know that a step forward is a step forward no matter how small. Forgive yourself for only replacing 2 meals with salad instead of 3.
What will you do to take small but steady steps towards your goal?