Why I hate setting resolutions, and what you can do to actually reach yours
New Year’s Resolutions
Don’t you just hate feeling like you have to set these grandiose New Year’s resolutions that are going to revolutionize your life? Is it just me? Please tell me its not just me feeling like I have to set these monumental goals for myself each year.
The challenge with resolutions is that we are trying to make too many giant changes too quickly. We have these amazing projects and trips and self-improvement tasks that we want to take on each year. And they are enough to keep us busy for 6 lifetimes, let along 12 short months.
Yes, you might have hiking in Tibet on your bucket list, but is this the year that is actually going to happen? Or should we just focus on setting our alarms for 15 minutes earlier to squeeze in an early morning yoga sesh before the kids wake up and our days become one giant circus? Again, just me? Anyone else raising future circus performers?!
The challenges of resolutions –
Once the post holiday slump subsides and life starts to get back to normal, it is easy to look at our list of good intentions and start to get depressed. Here we are two weeks into the new year, and you haven’t hit that Peloton bike for 90 minutes every day like you said you would. Instead, set your goal to 15 minutes three times a week.
Start small. Build your way up to that huge monumental goal. Sometimes, turning around the Titanic can take some time, building up daily habits will garner you better results than trying to change everything all at once.
Small habits built over time build up to giant empires, someone smart like Aristotle said that. Okay, I made that up, I don’t know where that saying came from, but it’s a good one – and one that we should remember when we are making our new years resolutions. Don’t try to eat the whole elephant in one bite on January 1. Instead, decide on one small habit that will start you on the right path towards your goal. Build that up over a certain amount of time, then in February try adding in a second small habit that will continue to build process towards your goal.
Before you know it, it will be December 31st and instead of lamenting that you haven’t made any progress, you will have 12 new habits that are all helping you in making progress. Remember it is all about progress, rather than perfection. The journey is just as important as the destination.
Too many giant changes at once –
So, not only are we setting these monumental sweeping resolutions, but we are also creating these lists that are a mile long. Start with one. Work up from there. One of my favorite aspects of the FlyLady system (ok, who am I kidding, I can’t pick just one favorite, her whole system has changed my life!), anywho – one of my favorites is the idea of picking one small habit every month. As mentioned earlier, it is easier to start one small new habit each month and build up rather than trying to jump straight into the deep end.
So, if your overall goal for the year is to get healthy. Then this month you might set a resolution to drink more water. Then once this is a habit, and I don’t have to think about it anymore, then I add in the habit of walking for 20 minutes three times a week. Slowly over the course of the year, I will build into my daily routines 12 new habits that all move me closer to my main goal of getting healthy.
One small change at a time.
The problem with giant sweeping bucket list goals. We all have the standard “lose weight” or “go for that promotion” -type resolutions. These are long and slow goals that can be built over time. However, we also have those bucket lists. You know, those one time crazy huge projects or aspirations that haunt our mundane every day lives. Do you want to hike through Tibet and drink tea with the monks? Bike the Appalachian mountains? One of my co-workers took 5 months sabbatical and walked from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Coast Trail Yeah, like that lady from Wild!
What is it you want to do before you kick the bucket? Ok, morbid much? But seriously. Think about that one thing you want to do and start researching it. Maybe this isn’t the year that you actually accomplish it, but you can at least start researching it, budgeting for it, create a Trello board with all your to do lists for how you will actually accomplish it. What can you do this year to get one step closer to that bucket list item?
For me, spending time dreaming and planning for these fun larger one time events is just what I need to break up the monotony of the day life. Start with creating a simple Pinterest board, and spend some time researching the best B&B’s and restaurants in Bali. Dream a little, then hop on that Peloton bike so that you are ready when it comes time to bike through the Appalachian mountains.
New Years resolutions can be daunting at best and depressing when we don’t follow through with our grandiose intentions. However, I hope that together we can continue to dream and work towards our goals and dreams. Don’t give up, just change the timeline and give yourself grace when life happens. Cuz it will happen momma!
Instead, set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier and get a quick yoga session before the kiddos get up. And be sure to drink your water while you pin those amazing pictures of the beach in Bali! What are your resolutions this year?
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