It's that time of years where many people begin to make New Years resolutions. New year; new you. There is something refreshing and encouraging about the fact that no matter what kind of year you just had you are getting a fresh start... a blank new year to paint any way you wish, but where to begin?
Did you know that the number one New Year's resolution is to lose weight? It is closely followed by people resolved to get organized, save more money, quit smoking, enjoy life to it's fullest, and fall in love. A myriad of goals that, if combined onto one person's list, is a tall mountain to climb. Of all the Americans that make resolutions, about 75% even make it past the first week, and less than half make it past 6 months. As you may have witnessed in the past, the gyms overflow with customers ready to get in shape in January, and then peter out by the end of February. Though all of these things can be wonderful achievements, it is important to get clear on a few things first if you want to be successful long term.
You can't know where you want to go until you know where you are at. No matter what goals you set for yourself, it will be tough to get there if you don't know what your starting point is. Time to get clear. I find it is best to keep motivated by focusing on one resolution at a time. Once you find a successful groove that is working for you, then you can tackle the next one.
- What is my current reality, what does my life look like right now?
- What are 3 words I would use to describe myself right now?
- What is the one thing I want to change the most and why?
- What effect do I want the results to have on my life?
- What 3 words would I use to describe how I want to live?
- What is my big goal?
- How can I break that up into more manageable steps?
- What is one thing I can do each day to stay motivate and focused on my goal?
- If I have a set back what will be my course of action to get back on track?
- What will I do once I reach my goal?
EXAMPLE RESOLUTION: Take Personal Health to the Next Level
- My current reality is I am healthy and happy, but would like to implement some healthier habits to take my health to the next level. I currently eat healthy meals, but I also mindlessly snack when I'm in a rush, stressed, or tired. (sound familiar?)
- 3 words to describe myself right now: happy, fatigued, determined (some of these are good, and some offer some room for self-support and improvement)
- The one thing I want to change the most is my diet. It has a solid foundation of whole foods, but I want to infuse even more nutrient dense foods, cold pressed juices, fruits and vegetables into my daily routine.
- The effect I want this to have on my life is increased health and vibrance to grow even stronger into the person I want to be. By taking care of myself first and foremost, I will be able to show up for those I love in a more compassionate and engaged way.
- 3 words to describe how I want to live and show up in the world: happy, healthy, and vibrant.
- My big goal is to be able to integrate and maintain health and harmony in my life.
- Here's how can I break that up into more manageable steps:
- Start each morning off fresh with a healthy breakfast, like a green smoothie, or chia seed pudding with fresh fruit.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand to reach for in between meals when I do get hungry (carrots& hummus, apples & nut butter, almonds, fresh fruit, etc.)
- Make it a goal to plan ahead and make time for exercise 4-5 times per week, even if it is a brisk half hour walk to clear my head.
- Tune in to what my body needs when I start to feel fatigue creeping back up: take a nap, go for a brisk walk in the fresh air, eat an energizing snack, take a few minutes to breathe deeply with my eyes shut.
- Wind down at night after dinner with soothing tea (adding an optional tsp of honey for more of a sweet treat) instead of having dessert.
- Keep journal to observe how making these subtle, yet powerful changes in my own health will begin spiraling out and brightening up the other areas of my life.
- One thing I can do each day to stay motivate and focused on my goal is start off with a 5 minute morning meditation to envision my success and how I will feel to show up in the world by sticking to my healthy habits.
- If I have a set back I will pause, take a step back to breathe and assess what lead to the set back. Then I will utilize self compassion, rather than negative self talk, to acknowledge that set-backs happen, but it doesn't mean I should abandon ship on my goals. I can then refocus on my overall goal and get back on track with a crisp apple and brisk walk!
- Once I reach my goal I can enter "maintenance mode." Now that I know what works and what doesn't work for me, I can continue implementing the successes to keep the harmony in balance.
- Perhaps it's time for a new goal to tackle!
Have fun setting your own resolutions; remembering that set backs are not failures, and that self compassion is your strongest tool.
Cheers to a new year!