A New Year is the perfect time time to reflect and take stock of where you are and where you have been. Some people use birthdays as a time to reflect and align. I like to use my birthday as a barometer as well, but there is something about celebrating a brand new year with the rest of the world. It’s a great opportunity to declare your goals both publicly and privately.
I know there are some people who don’t believe in resolutions. “No one keeps them anyway.” say the self proclaimed realists and “I’m more spontaneous” say the fly by the seat of my pants folks. When someone declares they don’t believe in resolutions I always ask my go to Reality Therapy questions. “Is this working for you?” If the answer is “Yes” then by all means carry on. You may even want to stop reading now and catch me next week when I write about building a capsule wardrobe from scratch. However, if you, like myself,are a planner, goal setter, and a dreamer then this post might be for you.
I started my blog and Instagram last year around this time shortly after the release of my book Single Mom Chic. Part of me simply wasn’t ready to stop writing and the other part of me wanted to connect with those I was sharing my life with. If you’ve read my book you already know so much about my journey but I didn’t want it to end there. I wanted to know about yours too. Finding a way to connect was definitely a goal of mine.
My Instagram following has superseded any resolution I made last last year and continues to connect me with wonderful people from just about everywhere. This might shock some of you since I share so much here but I’m really a private person. As a counselor I’m used to being the listening ear. The vulnerability I experienced when I wrote my book and then started this blog has given me a new perspective on life. Being open with all of you has allowed me to be open in other areas of my life as well.
Of course I won’t just check that off my list and move on. That’s the thing about resolutions, I believe that in order for them to really be effective (stick around) they should be a part of a bigger vision you have for yourself.
Here are two ways you can make sure you stick to your resolutions and your new habits become a part of the new you.
Dream bigger– okay, I love how that sounds but what I really mean is make your goals open ended. I think part of the problem with resolutions is that sometimes they are too finite. “I want to loose X number of pounds or I want to pay of my credit cards.” What do you really want? What will paying off your credit card or loosing the weight actually mean? Are you looking for financial freedom or do you want to ditch your meds and improve your health?
I like to choose resolutions that actually improve the quality of my life long term. For example if I wanted to loose weight (which I do since we are oversharing) I would focus more on health and fitness goals not a number, because then what? Do you stop eating well and working out when you reach your goal? Part of it is simply semantics but I believe words matter. How we phrase our goals makes a huge difference in how we implement them and in how we gauge our success. Some people give up on goals because they don’t reach the finite goal they set for themselves but its important not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
This past year I made huge improvements both nutritionally and physically. I’m eating better, I feel better, I have more energy and I’ve gotten much stronger than I ever thought I would. Have I lost that pesky 10lbs? No…but my clothes fit better and more importantly I feel better. The scale is moving in the right direction but that isn’t the most important thing to me. My dream is bigger than a number on the scale.
Go hard-Okay…that might sound scary but just try it for 30days. If there’s a large goal that seems difficult to reach try going all in on one aspect of it for 30 days. For example if financial freedom is a goal try putting away your credit card and not using it for 30 days or deciding not to visit Starbucks or your favorite coffee shop for an entire month. Most of us have done the thirty day thing before by signing up for a free thirty day trial of something. The reason companies offer 30 day free trials is because they are hoping that after you do something for an entire month you will be hooked. Do we always stick around after the trial? No, but the odds are definitely in favor to do so. It might also help you decide if your goal needs to be adjusted.
I went vegan for 30 days with the Thirty Day Vegan Challenge and after the 30 days I went back to being a vegetarian. It was actually easier than I thought and even though I made a conscious decision that being a vegetarian worked better for my lifestyle I realized that I learned so much during the process. I still incorporate much of what I learned into my diet today. My real goal of improving my nutrition was helped along by my 30 day trial.
So those are my two keys to helping ensure you meet your New Years goals and keep your resolutions. Dream big and Go Hard! I’d love to hear your thoughts on New Year resolutions!
Happy New Year!
Until Next Post,