January 18, 2014

I know that New Year’s resolutions have been all the talk lately.  But, now that we’re about two weeks into 2014, it is very possible that you’re feeling like you bit off more than you can chew with those “resolutions” and may have already thrown in the towel with some (that is of course until next year when you decide “this is the year I’m going to commit to change!”).

Although entering a new year is a wonderful time to reflect on the past year, give yourself the gift of a fresh start with a clean slate, and set goals for yourself, I don’t like the word resolutions or the tone or pressure that is put on the start of a new year. I personally feel that every day we should be working to accomplish our goals and improve ourselves, instead of assigning one time of year for it.

To start to change this mentality and repetitive action, let’s first understand why so many of us have trouble sticking to our resolutions:

– We set out to overhaul our lives and make huge, drastic changes that are unrealistic to achieve or sustain on that level.
– We go in with an “all or nothing” mindset.
– As stated before, we designate this one time of year as the only time to make changes and set goals.
– We don’t take time to truly understand what we are setting out to achieve or why.

That being said, here are some useful tips to help you rethink your “resolutions” and implement the changes you are looking to make in your life (not only specific to this time of year;)).

  1. Cross the word RESOLUTIONS off your list and replace it with intentions and goals.  This way, you remove that unnecessary weight and pressure that’s put on you to have to make these drastic changes, and fully succeed at the start of a new year.  Additionally, goals and intentions are things we are constantly working to achieve and need to work on every single day

  2. Start small. While I am a big advocate for setting goals and aspirations, and having a bigger picture in mind, it’s important to make small shifts and changes that will ultimately help you reach those big goals and get your where and who you want to be. Start with small and realistic changes and gradually add on or deepen your goals. By accomplishing these smaller tasks, you will feel more accomplished, and therefore more motivated, to continue working towards your goals. And the more you achieve, the closer you will be to living your big picture- not just envisioning it.

  3. Be consistent.  It’s important to try and implement these changes and new behaviors on a daily basis in order to teach yourself new habits and undo old, negative ones. Scientific evidence shows it takes about 40 days of practice to teach yourself a new habit.. so keep at it!

  4. Get out of the “all or nothing” mindset.  This ties back into tip #1- you do not need a new year to bring in change.  Every day presents you with a fresh start, new opportunities, and choices.  Even throughout the day we are given constant chances to implement change and to set and reach our objectives.  If you slip up or fall off track… just get back on and do something positive that will bring you one step closer to your goals and to supporting what you want and need.

  5. Start each morning by setting an intention for the DAY (not the whole year or even month) and thinking about what your goals are.  Then, think about what you can do that day to support and reach these goals and be aligned with your intentions.

And just remember: you choose the goals and intentions that you want for yourself, and you are the only one who can achieve them.  You owe it yourself to work towards these every day.
And, if you slip up (as we all do) give yourself a free pass and start fresh with a healthy meal, a great yoga class, a good laugh, or throw on some jams and just dance :).
And as Kris Carr says:

“Smaller changes equal big wins, especially when you stick with them. And listen up perfectionist, you don’t have to stick with them 100 percent of the time to be successful…For the majority of us, when we start from an extreme place and seek extreme results, we set ourselves up for extreme disappointment.”

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