New Year’s resolutions have become a total cliché. Whenever I hear of somebody setting a “resolution” I automatically assume it’s a long-term (and highly unrealistic) goal, that they’ll stick to for a week, maybe a month, and then get discouraged and give up – sometimes just to repeat the process the following year. Year after year companies make millions and billions of dollars* off the “New Year’s resolution” gimmick because people are constantly setting these unattainable goals for themselves and come January 1st they dish out lots of money on products and memberships that will end up unused come March.
I believe that most people go into this whole resolution thing with the wrong mindset and set themselves up for failure. According to the dictionary resolution means: 1) decision; a firm decision to do something, and 2) determination; firmness of mind or purpose. Nowhere in the dictionary under resolution does it say “1) to wish upon a star, 2) hope that all your dreams come true with minimal effort, and 3) expect a lifetime of bad habits to go away overnight.” Sorry Charlie, that’s not how life works. So if a resolution is a decision to do something followed by the determination to carry it out, why do we expect it to be the latter? You’re right, it is silly of us, and that’s why I’m here to teach you how to set a new year’s resolution you’ll actually stick to!
1) Get real.
Those contestants on the Biggest Loser go through some crazy stuff to lose that much weight in a week (seriously, google it), and just because a blogger posts pictures of a perfect looking room but that doesn’t mean you’re getting the full story. Setting some far-fetched and unrealistic goal is just going to discourage you and you will lose hope. I promise. Instead try setting more attainable goals, that you can easily reach and measure daily or weekly!
Let’s say you’re trying to save money, then set a goal of putting at least one coin in your jar every day! It sounds dumb, but after a few weeks, it’s full! And one coin a day?? So simple! It’s something simple, easy to measure, and it quickly pays off and gives you some momentum to keep it up!
You can always try something similar with, say, weight loss! Aim for something measurable (unless you have a lot of pounds to drop try to avoid measuring pounds because that fluctuates and can get really discouraging) like pant size, or inches, and set a small goal you can check ever week or month!
Just make sure that what ever you do choose you take….
2) Baby steps.
Like I said in the beginning, it took a lifetime for you to form the habits you have now, you can’t expect that to disappear overnight. You can work hard and overcome those habits, which is important for following through with your New Year’s resolutions, you just need baby steps!
If you’ve spent the better part of your life as a couch potato, no, you aren’t going to become a fitness model just because it’s the new year. However you can set yourself up for success by taking your resolution in small manageable bites!
Instead of trying a whole overhaul of your life (completely changing every kind of food you eat and starting a strict gym regime) it might be best for you to start small so you can see yourself progressing instead of failing and getting frustrated! Try going for long walks a couple of times a week and swapping healthy substitutions for your typical junk food choices, then bump it up when you feel comfortable!
3) Know yourself.
In the same camp of setting yourself up for success, always listen to you. You and your sweet sister-in-law might feel like you’re bff-soul-mates and share everything together, but just because she is able to set some great New Year’s resolution and stick to it doesn’t mean you can!
Take me, for example! I’ve resolved that in the New Year (in like 2 days) I want to sit down to write a blog post daily, not publish it, just write. I’m sure plenty of people could do that. However it isn’t the what, so much as the when. I am a morning worker, if I don’t get something done by like 4 or 5 pm, it’s not gonna happen (this Law of Caitlin is also true for my housework/remodel/crafting resolutions). So I know me and I know that I need to block out some time every morning for blog writing and any other various activities I want to carry out that day!
So listen to yourself! If you know the only way you’ll stick to a fitness plan is having somebody else create a strict diet/fitness routine, then go for it and get somebody (professional) to do that for you! If you need a professional organizer to really get you on the right track, go ahead! And if you don’t need either of those, more power to you! Just be honest with yourself and the things you know you will need to meet your goals this year!
4) Forgive yourself.
The quickest way to give up for good? Beating yourself up for slipping up, and sliding head first back into your bad habit to comfort yourself. I mean seriously, I’ve done this a thousand times and sure y’all have too: “I’m gonna get fit!” Then you start a diet, binge on M&M’s and snicker doodles* at 1 am, a week into it, and go on hating yourself (then comforting yourself with Twinkies*). *Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
What we (especially women) need to work on, is just forgiving ourselves. So what if you had an entire supersized meal at McDonald’s? Move on, and make better choices from then on. Don’t give up and hate yourself and feel weak just because you had one off meal! You aren’t worthless, you aren’t a failure, you aren’t weak, you are human. Get over it and don’t let this make you give up on your New Year’s resolutions this year!
What are some of your resolutions??
I’ll be posting mine later this week and I’d love to hear what you guys are committing too! I hope that these tips can help y’all set some realistic and attainable resolutions!
God bless, and I’ll see y’all next year!
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*Statistic from the Department of Questionable Statistics Bureau.
© 2013 – 2014, Caitlin Edmon. All rights reserved.