I've never really been one for "resolutions".
I've also never been one to jump on the bandwagon as soon as it arrives in town.
I like setting and achieving goals.
I like feeling accomplished.
And mostly, I like not failing.
For me, setting a New Years resolution is - at least in my mind - setting myself up for failure.
(Did you know that multiple studies have shown that 80% of New Years resolutions fail by February? I don't want to be a statistic!)
I like fresh starts and I like accomplishments, but I don't like "resolutions." So what's a girl to do?
Here are a few things I've found helpful for getting that fresh start feeling without committing to any ambiguous, doomed-to-fail resolutions:
1. Set your goal for a short period of time.
If there's one easy way to fail at a New Year's resolution, it's to resolve to do something without a specific time attached. Sure, we all sort of assume that New Years resolutions are something you'll complete in the coming year, but in reality, a goal that has 365 days to be accomplished is likely to fall by the wayside way before you reach the end of that year. (And if not, do you really want to be busting your butt during the busy November/December months to finish up?!)
Attach a specific finishing time to your goal and when you reach it, set another goal. It's a lot harder to lose 30 pounds in one year than it is to lose 3 lbs in one month, and then lose 3 lbs in the next month, and then 3 lbs in the next month...
2. Be sure to be specific with your goal so you can measure your success later on.
If your goal is to "eat better", there is no real way to measure that. Try something like "Eat vegetables 2x per day." That's specific and measurable. You'll be able to say with certainty that you DID accomplish your goal, rather than looking back and wondering..."Did I really eat better this year?"
3. Make your goal small - smaller than you think is reasonable.
Yes, I said it. Aim for less than you think you can achieve. If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it's that accomplishing a series of small goals will spur you on to accomplish even more small goals. Big goals are overwhelming. Small goals are manageable. So make it small, and then make it happen.
4. Focus on replacing habits - not changing habits.
I believe that the only way to true long-term success is to shift your focus and slowly begin replacing poor habits with healthy habits. Don't start out trying to add in healthy habits or drop unhealthy habits. Look for ways to replace the poor habits you have with better ones.
Instead of watching the news, you might take a 20-minute walk around your neighborhood.
Instead of getting up and immediately scrolling social media or checking email, you might choose to read a book for 15 minutes.
Instead of grabbing a sugary drink on the way to work, bring along some water or another healthy drink to keep your energy strong throughout the day.
Replace your old habits with new ones and set your brain to focus on those replacements.
5. Find an accountability partner.
Don't try to go it alone. We were designed to live in community. Where I live (in the United States) we tend to think we can function autonomously. We don't need anyone else! We are independent! But in reality, we all need someone to ask how we're doing, to come alongside us and partner with us, and when necessary, to hold our feet to the fire.
Find a friend, let them know what you'd like from them (maybe a weekly check-in text or a monthly coffee date?) and commit to being honest with them about your successes and failures.
6. Don't wait until a certain date to start again.
While the first day of January is a great day to start fresh, there is truly nothing magical about that date. We can all start fresh on any day we please. If you fall, pick yourself back up. If you mess up and miss your goal, start again. Allowing yourself to feel defeated will never give you what you need to keep pressing on.
Give yourself grace. Know you will make mistakes. And then when you slip up, allow yourself to begin again. Even if it's a cold, snowy February 19th. Or a hot, sticky July 27th. Or a crisp, cool September 26th. Any calendar day works to start over. Don't throw away what time you have. No matter what day it is, you can start fresh today.
Incorporating these steps into my own goal-setting processes has been key for my accomplishments over the past several years.
If you're looking for a few books to help spur you on to focusing on changes and completing your goals, here are a few that I personally love:Start by Jon AcuffThe Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Finish by Jon Acuff
While there is a myriad of goal-setting categories from which to choose, we all know that many people set health goals for the new year - goals that involve focusing on personal health for more vitality of life. If you know you need to make a change for the better in regards to your health, but you're not sure where to start, we'd love to hear from you
! Our journey to intentional healthy living starting about 8 years ago and we have slowly been replacing unhealthy habits with healthier ones ever since. We are on this journey with you and would love to help you find joy and wellness in a healthier lifestyle. We would be honored to come alongside you to help you break down your goals and set you on a path to healthy living!
Young Living has been a crucial part of our family's health journey, and they have multiple starter kits
available for those with even the smallest budget. We'd be happy to talk with you and see what would be your best option for getting started today!
No matter what your goals or resolutions are this year, we want to wish you a very Happy New Year!
May 2018 be a blessing to you and your loved ones!