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Make Those Resolutions Last
We’re almost 3 weeks into January. It’s just about that time where the newness of the year starts to wear off. Those resolutions that you made 20 days ago are getting pushed aside in the hustle of real life. Motivation starts waning.
If this describes your life right now, you are not alone. This struggle to keep your word to yourself is pretty common. In fact, according to U.S. News, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.
I have absolutely been in that 80% before. Actually, making these huge goals for myself and the giving them up when real life got in the way was something that I got pretty good at doing. I’ve always been the type of person who feels really motivated initially. I get hyped on goals.
But then I would get busy. Or I’d get caught up in the grind of daily life. Before I knew it, it would be March or April. I would come across my New Year’s resolution list – and feel like a total failure.
But eventually, I got older and a little wiser. Basically – to put it quite bluntly – I got tired of my own BS.
I took a hard look at myself and admitted that I had a follow-through problem. A commitment issue.
That’s usually how people make the greatest changes, right? They get tired of getting in their own way.
So, if you find yourself fighting the good fight right now, I’m going to give you some of my strategies to help you make those resolutions you made at the beginning of the year stick.
Find your why
When I got real about my resolutions, I realized that I was making goals without ever examining my why.
Why did I want to lose 10 pounds? (Because I wanted to feel better in my own body.)
Why did I want to stick to the Paleo diet? (Because I was tired of feeling bloated, sluggish, and dealing with skin issues.)
Why did I want to go to a CrossFit class? (Because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try a new exercise routine.)
I had all of these great goals and ambitions, but I never identified why these were important goals for me.
If you haven’t done this with your resolutions yet, do it now. Sit with yourself and get down to the root of your goal.
Then, write it down. Don’t type it. Don’t text it. Don’t just think about it. Write it out – in your own handwriting. This can be powerful…to see your words in your own handwriting.
You can write it in pencil, magic marker, gel pen, with accompanying doodles…whatever feels right to you. Just write it.
Then, put that piece of paper where you will see it every day. I’ve put notes to myself on my bathroom mirror, on the fridge, on the ceiling above my bed, any place I can stick it to make sure that my eyes land on it every single day. You can even take a picture of your handwritten note and make it your phone lock screen. (And if you’re anything like me, that means you’ll see it A LOT. Maybe next year’s resolution will be to limit the amount of time I check my phone…but that’s another post for another day 🙂 )
Have a support system
You don’t have to do this alone. I had this realization one New Year’s Eve when my boyfriend and I decided to get real about our resolutions. We made a commitment to share our resolutions with each other and then hold each other to it.
This was a game-changer. Before this point, I was keeping my goals to myself. I was putting all the pressure on me to come through for myself. Also, I was letting myself off the hook.
If I let my goal slip mid-way through February, no one would know but me.
Having an accountability partner changes this.
And while you are the one that has to do the actual work, resolutions become more attainable when you know someone has your back and is going to help you you see them through.
If your resolution is to exercise 4 times a week, ask your accountability partner to check in with you on those days. When you feel that motivation lacking, call them up and have them talk you through it. And be sure to do the same for them.
Knowing that I was going through something with my partner…knowing that I was not alone…this was huge for me. So, if you haven’t already found that person, seek them out now! It’s not too late and I promise it will make a huge difference in the months to come.
Let go of the idea of perfection
You know what’s better, and incredibly more effective, than perfection?
As soon as I let go of the idea that I had to stick to my resolutions perfectly, my goals felt much more real. Because, let’s be honest, is anyone perfect?
So – go ahead and let go of that thought.
Say your resolution is to adopt the Paleo diet. Great – that’s an awesome resolution. But say, for example, your birthday is in January. And because your co-workers are amazing, they made you a cake and brought it into work just for you. This act means so much to you and you don’t want to insult them by not eating any.
But you made that resolution…what should you do?
You decide to enjoy a piece of that non-Paleo cake. But it’s not long before you start to feel that guilt and shame creeping into your head. You’ve already failed. You can’t stick to anything. Might as well just give up now.
RESIST THIS THOUGHT.
It’s so easy to fall into that cycle of shame and failure. And what good does that do you??? Absolutely nothing.
So, have a small piece of that cake. Enjoy it, even. Your friends made it because they love and appreciate you!
And then hop right back on the Paleo train for the next meal. And the meal after. Keep moving forward with your resolution.
Make consistency your goal – not perfection. Trust me, this simple mindset shift will make all the difference in the world.
You Can Change Your Life
These 3 strategies helped me become much more committed to my goals. And I can honestly say that my life changed because of it.
Thanks for letting me get a little personal with you. I hope this helps you reframe your resolutions! Do you have a favorite strategy for sticking to long-term goals? I’d love to hear about it.
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