5-Strategies to Make your New Year’s Resolutions Stick!
Happy New Year!
Have you written your resolutions down? Sometimes our New Year’s Resolutions list seems longer than our holiday shopping list. When the Christmas trees and decorations are packed away, the anxiety of facing the New Year with frustrations and reminders of failed resolutions flood our mind and body. This can be daunting atop the already post-holiday slump, and can get worst as January, February, and March pass with no action towards your resolution, which can really feel hopeless!
Here are 5 strategies to make your resolutions stick! Did you notice I said ‘resolutions’, not New Year’s resolutions? I personally set resolutions all year round, and as the New Year approaches, I look at what I have accomplished so far and I continue … In other words, I don’t set specific New Year’s resolutions for the sake of a New Year starting. I do have a bucket list, and I do promise myself to practice mastering one habit at a time! This keeps the anxiety and pressure at bay, and believe it or not, I get more than one habit mastered in a given year.
Set realistic resolutions, ones that you can really keep. For instance, if you plan on eating healthier, start with swapping a ‘sweet dessert’ with a healthier option like fruits or nuts. Or if you are aiming to exercise, start with 2-3 days per week. This way eating and exercising won’t feel like self-punishment.
Focus on one behavior at a time
Behaviors and habits develop over a course of time. This is true for both unhealthy behaviors and habits and healthy ones. Keep your expectation in check, and don’t get bogged down by thoughts of reassessing your whole life while setting resolutions. Focus on one behavior at a time; work on one behavior at a time with persistence and patience.
Share it with your Tribe
We are all unique individuals with our own set of struggles and successes. Find your tribe; this can be your family members, friends, co-workers, a support group … etc. Sharing your struggles and successes can make the journey of shifting into healthier habit less intimidating.
Mishaps are OK!
Don’t beat yourself up, bogged down by a ‘bad day’*, or quit because … Remind yourself that setbacks are part of reaching any goal, life has ups and downs; but not every setback or down moment means you give up! Learn to recover from your mistakes and get back on track!
*’bad day’ is a term I use to describe a day that has been totally taken over by your overwhelm mind and primal behavior. Bad days are those days where you were planning on swapping your sweet treat for a healthy fruit or handful of nuts but ended up having two or three more sweet treats, the guilt of that drove you to binge eat some more for the rest of the day and night with thoughts of ‘today was a bad day so let me really enjoy this bad day, I will start over tomorrow’. Sounds familiar?
Ask for Help!
If you are overwhelmed by your resolution, accept the help of those who care and listen. If you feel you are unable to meet a goal that means a lot to you, hire professional help. Health Coaches are trained to understand the mind-body connection and they can help you with strategic tools to feel empowered in reaching your resolutions.
BONUS Tip: I do recommend using SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed) model to set goals throughout the year, instead of setting one big resolution for the year and going for it without clarity. This is especially helpful for Vata and Kapha mind-body types for they have the tendency to go on the both sides of extreme causing them anxiety and depression – take this quiz to find your mind-body type!
Make sure to have fun! The biggest part of any accomplished goal is the joy of the journey!