10 Surprising Ways to Actually Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
I know you’ve done it before...its now about 2 weeks into January, and your commitment to your New Year’s resolution is starting to wane.
We always start out with such high hopes at the beginning of a new year, ready to change for the better, for real this time. We are committed to getting the weight off, or to reading more books this year, or finally finishing painting the house. But then life happens. We push our resolutions to the backs of our minds. We lose focus. No matter how great our intentions were at the beginning of the year, the unexpected (and sometimes expected) gets in the way.
I totally understand-I used to be a habitual resolution maker. And I was also a habitual resolution breaker. I was part of the January gym crowd that would drop off after a few weeks, letting the regulars have their gym back. I’ve since stopped making resolutions all together, in favor of setting goals for myself throughout the year. But still, I know that so many of you make your resolutions with the best intent, and I want to give you some ideas to help you keep them. Because you can totally rock those resolutions and blow everyone (and yourself) out of the water by the end of the year. You’ve got this!
Make a specific goal
I’m all about setting huge, scary goals for myself, but when you’re thinking in terms of a resolution to accomplish by the end of the year, its a bit self-defeating to think about a goal with no real end. When you’ve got all the time in the world, setting a big, dreamy goal is awesome, but when you’re in a time crunch, even a year doesn’t seem like enough time to lose 100 pounds, or save $100k. Make a smaller, more reasonable resolution, like losing 30 pounds this year, or saving $10,000. You can always increase the goal once you meet it, and there is a pretty sizeable boost in momentum and self confidence when you achieve what you set out to do. Just roll that right along to the next goal.
Patience is a virtue! I know its really exciting to expect to see huge changes when you first start working towards your goal, but change is rarely linear. For example, when I first started my weight loss journey, I didn’t lose any weight for TWO MONTHS, even though I was quite careful with my eating. It would have been super easy for me to give up because I wasn’t seeing huge changes, but I eventually found out that my body likes to hold on to water weight when first starting a workout routine, which I had begun as soon as I started trying to lose weight. One day, I got on the scale and had lost 5 pounds since the week before, then the next week I lost an additional 3. After that, my progress was pretty steady. Had I given up and not pushed through, I would have never learned about my body, nor lost 40 pounds!
Set a schedule
If its in my planner, its happening. If its not there….forget about it. When you write something down, especially in a planner, your brain registers it as more important. Besides, when you schedule it in advance, you schedule other things around it. If, for example, your goal is to declutter, schedule a specific day to clean out your garage or storage shed. Its just not going to happen otherwise.
Be accountable to others
This is one I have always had a hard time with, because I never wanted to risk failing in front of other people, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? When you know that someone will be checking in on your progress, you’ll tend to make better decisions.
Be accountable to yourself
This goes hand-in-hand with the last point-when you are committed enough to your resolution to do it for yourself and not for anyone else, you’ll win. So many times I’ve tried losing weight for outside reasons, and not for myself, and it never stuck. You truly do just have to be ready for it. Once you are able to stop making excuses and do the work, you’ll find success.
Reward yourself and take breaks
This sounds like an easy concept, but it can be hard in practice. You’ll find yourself not wanting to take a break because you worry you’ll stall any forward momentum you’ve built, but let me tell you-a short break from working on your resolution can be refreshing! I am currently on a weight loss break because two years of hard work is mentally exhausting. I am in this for the long haul, not the quick weight loss shock, so this is a mental necessity. I’m actually looking forward to beginning the process again, which is a nice change of pace from dreading it like I was towards the end of the hardcore phase there.
Use your words
Everybody knows that if you don’t have something nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. This includes, most importantly, to yourself! A huge problem with people not sticking to their resolutions is negative self-talk. Stop being so hard on yourself and give yourself a break! You are only human, and you deserve the best. Keep reminding yourself how amazing you already are-you’re just making yourself even more incredible and honoring yourself by sticking to this resolution. The power of positive thinking will absolutely change your life.
Honor your individuality
A huge reason people have trouble sticking to their resolutions is that they try and accomplish them in a way that doesn’t work for them. For example, let’s say you’re definitely not a morning person, but you read that the best time to work out is in the morning because it boosts your metabolism the rest of the day. You decide to get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to accommodate that, and that lasts all of 3 days before you find yourself hitting the snooze button on your alarm and sleeping right past your workout. Forget the “best” time to work out. The best time is the time you will actually do it! Respect your incredible individuality and get to the gym after work when it feels best to you, not when someone else says you should.
Use the tools around you
There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel when trying to keep your resolutions. Your smartphone’s app store is filled with helpful apps to help you do everything from lose weight, to quit smoking, to declutter. Have a good search, ask your friends for recommendations, and make use of technology to make sticking to your goals even easier!
Use essential oils for emotional support
With oil blends like Motivation, Brain Power, Build Your Dream, and a ton of other amazing blends, Young Living Essential Oils make the perfect complement to just about any resolution you might have made. You will be uplifted and inspired when you pair these oils with your determination. Its a resolution match made in heaven!