Ok, so, it’s here! January first. People have started making small talk about it already. Any resolutions this year? What are your goals for the New Year? Are you going to do anything different in the New Year?
I almost always feel like I have failed somehow on the 1st day of the year! I mean, my kids are still on holiday, my husband is on vacation, I still have a fridge full of food, and baked goods all around me! How can I possibly change the food I eat, what time I go to bed, what time I wake up in the morning, how much fitness I do in a day or week, what clothes I wear, adding my own personal self care routine, staying organized and tidy (with all of the new toys and presents in the house), staying on top of regular cleaning chores, cooking more at home from scratch, planting a garden that will grow everything I eat and so many more new goals all in one day!
Real resolutions take time!
I can’t go from eating out every night of the week to meal planning each meal for the next 4 months straight! Or from rarely working out to suddenly running every day of the week! I can’t even go from waking up at 7 am every day to suddenly waking up at 5 am. Think about how long you have been doing things one way, it will likely take as long to change and develop the new routine. I’ve heard it takes 21 days to create a habit, but truly, I think its longer! AND it requires deep commitment and determination to change. You will forget at times, or fail or flop, or give up, or whatever word you want to use to describe the feeling of rejecting your new goal. You have to remind yourself that ‘it’s ok, just try harder the next day’. Give yourself a break!
No one can successfully change almost every aspect of their life in one day!
For the last few years I have been thinking about the New Year differently. I think of it as being in full swing on January 1st! To make that work, I don’t change anything on the 1st! My goals and resolutions are already fully active by the 1st! I think of my New Year’s resolutions starting in October. Use the last 3 months of the year to start practicing your new habits or creating your new routines. Don’t go cold turkey, use the time that you have. If I wanted to start waking up at 5 am, I won’t set my alarm day one at 5 am if I am used to waking up at 7 am or even 8 am. Over the course of one week I would likely give up on that 5 am alarm, where’s that snooze button!!? I will have way more ongoing success by incrementally changing it. Start at 6:30 for a few weeks, then 6:00, then 5:30, then suddenly it’s easier to wake up at 5:00! If you use your time wisely then once January 1st rolls around you can be successful right away! Same with meal planning. If you eat out often, then why not try meal planning 2 meals per week for a while, then maybe 4 meals per week, then 6 meals per week and a reward take out meal!
Most people have given up on their resolutions by the time Feb 1st has rolled around, even more people by March 1st.
Why not give yourself the opportunity to be successful!
Try using the first 3 months to slowly work your resolutions into your daily routine! By the time the spring comes around you’ll be well into crushing your New Year’s goals. Its not about becoming a better version of yourself on January 1st, its about using the whole year to grow into a better version of yourself!
Wow, I could feel the weight lifting off my shoulders as I kept reading. Great advice. I love the line, “give yourself the opportunity to be successful.”
We are so hard on ourselves and often set such unrealistic expectations. You offer wise advice especially as we enter the new year with the added stress of a pandemic.
Thank you! You are so right! Why beat ourselves up? Life is too short! Have fun with your resolutions, they’re there to guide your choices through the rest of the year.