The new year is here and with a change in dates comes the infamous resolutions. “I’m going to lose 20 pounds in 2016.” … “#NewYearNewMe” … “Time to start my new diet, eating clean this year.” Okay, I know all of your intentions are GREAT, but let’s start the year off with a different mindset.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll verbally pledge to focus on a couple things in your life; but you’ll fail miserably as usual. I’ve told myself the past few years I was going to stop biting my nails (that hasn’t happened yet). I’ve also made the cliché goal to exercise daily and eat better, which also fell through. We have all made resolutions time and time again and yet we continue to not follow through with them. So what do you do? How do you successfully make a resolution at the beginning of the year and achieve it throughout the duration of those next few months?
A shift in your lifestyle or a small change in your daily activities is difficult to do. It takes a lot of time, mental dedication, and energy. You must understand that goal setting and achievement of that goal is a process. In order to accomplish a goal you must start by defining the “big picture” of what you wish to work towards. Then, you have to break this down into smaller, much more attainable goals in terms of monthly, weekly, daily tasks.
This year upon making and working to follow-up with your New Year’s resolutions, I challenge you to not just say it (or them). Find a way to hold yourself accountable for what you want to do. Whether you keep a journal, or you have a board in your house that you might put posted notes up on, or maybe you have a tracker on your computer or tablet or smart phone, all of these methods will help to keep you accountable and track your progress.
- Make a weekly list to provide a visual representation of what you need to or want to do that week. (Keep in my daily lists are fabulous as well!)
- Post-It notes make incredible task and motivational reminders.
- Create a monthly list of tasks you hope to get done and bucket list items that you hope to partake in (remember to make these attainable in that particular time frame).
- Use a journal to record your workouts, compare your growth, and push yourself to new limits. Personally, I write my workouts down in an old school journal because I feel a higher satisfaction physically checking or crossing exercises off.
- Technology can be a HUGE asset in terms of record keeping and accountability. Download a running app or an app that allows you to record meals, connect with friends, and push yourself to new limits.
- Exercise with a friend or group. This provides you with motivation, camaraderie, and yes I’m going to say it again, ACCOUNTABILITY.
When the going gets tough or you feel as though you have no direction, here’s some overarching (simple) things to keep in mind and take action on in 2016. Whether it’s brushing off frustration and relaxing, or trying something for the first time that takes you out of your comfort zone, we all need to be reminded of these simple pleasures from time to time:
- Sleep more, worry less.
- Spend more time with the ones you love and care about most in life.
- Actively listen and engage in conversation with those around you.
- Be present in the moment. This includes setting down your phone (iPad, tablet, or other device) and being aware of your surroundings and the beauty of life.
- Drink more water.
- Be thankful for all that you have and all you’ve accomplished.
- Pick up a book you’ve wanted to read and spend the afternoon immersed in a different world, life, culture, or environment, allowing yourself to challenge your mind and feed into your creativity.
- Dispose of things you don’t need in your life (this includes cleaning out physical items and negative relationships that don’t help you succeed-no one needs negative people in their circle.)
- Try new foods.
- Volunteer your time towards selflessly helping others in your community.
- Have faith in God and his timing.
- Take a deep breath and relax.
Yes, year after year the majority of society makes resolutions or sets relatively simple goals for themselves and still they fail miserably in accomplishing them; but who says this year has to fall into that same slump? No one. You are the writer of your life story. You possess the power to influence your present and future life story. The question is, what words will fill up the chapters in your life?