Keeping Up With Your Resolutions
For a lot of people making resolutions is the easy part, but actually keeping up with them or even starting them off there is where it gets tricky.
I think I read somewhere that it's about 80% of resolutions that get broken. Eighty percent.
In the beginning of the year you might have made a whole bunch of resolutions, set goals and made a ton of lists. Now as we're getting closer the the end of the first month of 2020 you might have given up, not felt like it or there were just a lot of opportunities for failure and to not follow through.
That is totally fine, this isn't a blog post to tell you how bad you're doing, on the contrary, I want to help you refocus and see what and if there's anything we can do to get you back on track.
So instead of having this huge goal that can seem unachievable and taking a bigger bite than we can swallow, start small. Let's say you want to exercise more, if you set a goal to go to the gym 5 times a week and be buffed by May, that might be realistic to some of you but if you've been on the holiday bandwagon for the past 3 months that might not be something that'll be easy to achieve.
For example, start by cutting all goodies at work (you know the office always has a whole bunch of baked goods, people bringing stuff in). If you have a clear cut no-goodies at work that might help you start reducing your sugar intake.
Maybe you use the elevator when you could use the stairs. And maybe you could leave the car a little farther than usual to get a few extra steps in.
These probably won't ensure your buffness by May but it might activate your mindset and help you create realistic habits for you to move towards that goal.
Some of you might have made this resolution to declutter the entire house and that hasn't even started yet, because....meh. Start by going through one draw or box for 10 minutes every Tuesday evening before you brush your teeth. Or maybe before you sit down and start binge watching your favorite series you got going on.
For something to become a habit, there needs to be something else that triggers the new behavior, a regular reminder that tells you its time to perform this behavior. The misconception is that it takes 21 days to form a habit, science shows that in fact it's more like 60 days, which sounds exhausting and discouraging. But if you need to carve out time in your calendar and set an alarm then start from there.
If you have a habit in mind that you don’t want to do every day, you can choose a trigger that occurs only occasionally.
Create a reward into the actual behavior, rather than holding out until you’ve achieved some far-off goal.
When our brains identify a potential reward, hello dopamine, that feel-good chemical it's easier to do things. The rush that motivates us towards the reward, might not come while we work towards that desired end goal. But it doesn't mean that the journey has to be boring, we're allowed to make the activities themselves more rewarding, more fun.
Maybe you're not into celery-kale juicing and a kick-boxing cardio class doesn't sounds appealing to you, that doesn't mean that there isn't a healthier option that works for you and that you can enjoy. It's ok to try out a bunch of things till you find whatever it is that puts you in a good mood.
Ok now, you're gonna fail at this, that's juts me being truthful. Lapses are inevitable. It's important to not beat yourself up for your lack of willpower, instead try to practice self-compassion. When we are compassion towards ourselves, we recognize that everyone makes mistakes and falls short of their expectations, this happens to all of us even the JLOs and the Michael Jordans.
This doesn't mean that come February 18 a Tuesday at 5:47pm or wherever you are in the process, that you can't start all over again. Lose this misconception that you need to wait for a Monday, the first of January or whatever other method to start something new (even when you fail at it).
Take a minute to think about what tools you need to embark on your new habit. Maybe confide in a friend. What obstacles will you most likely face and then just take the stairs. If you plan on failing I assure you it's gonna happen, if you expect it to happen it will. Even though you haven't made it work before doesn't mean that it won't ever work. Have faith my friends, I believe in you.
How about including others into your plan. Maybe you and your colleague can both cut back on the goodies at the office. Or maybe your partner could need that extra walk on Thursday evenings.
How do you stick to the plan and what happens when you don't? Please let us know what your tips and tricks are so we can all benefit for them.