We’ve all had them: resolutions. And yes, everyone has failed at one point or another.
Every year we make a resolution for the coming year. And every year the majority of us abandon it. So much so that January 17th has been officially named Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day.
We could go on because we certainly have, listing all the ways we’d like to change ourselves! We’re here to help to change the status quo. You don’t need to be another statistic. You actually can stick to your New Year’s resolutions—not just this year, every year. Here are Second Nature’s five simple ways to help you do just that.
Not easy, just simple. By keeping a resolution simple, you’re more likely to make an impact. For example, if you want to work out more, keep it simple. You don’t need to figure out how many calories to burn, how many burpees you can do in one minute, or narrow in on any one thing that closely. Start by going to the gym three times a week for 30 minutes or go for a walk to start your day. Figure out a good place to start and go for it.
Once you know the overall goal, you want to be able to measure it. Seeing your progress (whatever your resolution is) gives you a sense of pride in yourself. If you want to lose weight this year, pick your number (just remember to keep it simple). OK, now with your goal in mind, you can start tracking progress.
Break it down. We just talked about losing weight. You know you need to simple and specific, but you need some actions to take. Instead of thinking about that one resolution, let’s turn it into a habit: eating healthy. Saying you want to lose weight is a great start. Picking that number to track your progress, even better. But you won’t have any progress to track without a simple game plan. Start with veggies and low-glycemic index fruits. Find some you like and integrate into your diet. Not feeling the veggies? Give up sodas. Try to wean yourself off the caffeine with tea and reach for the La Croix or other sparkling drink. It might be hard, but well worth it!
With your simple, specific goal in mind and a habit or two to back it up, remember to reward yourself! This is all about you after all, right? Maybe you want to read more this year. Try giving yourself one hour of Netflix in the evening, but only after reading for one hour. Read. Reward. Once you get into the habit more, treat yourself to a book you’ve been eyeing once you finish the next one. Read. Reward. You’re not spoiling yourself. You’re using the reward center of your brain to reinforce what’s happening. You got this. You really do.
Citing the study we linked above, "Seventy-seven percent maintained their pledges for 1 week but only 19% for 2 years." The sounds about right. That might even sound like you. Why does one week matter so much more than the other 103 weeks? It doesn’t. It’s ridiculous to think it would. Maybe you wanted to try to write this year. You found you really enjoyed it, but just haven’t made the time. Maybe you set a goal this year to journal once a week. Like clockwork, life got busy, and it’s already February. You’ve journaled once. We’re here to tell you that’s OK. Don’t sweat it. Pick your journal back up and write, guilt-free. From a young age, we’re taught that failure is not OK. We’re so consumed with avoiding failure that we keep it from our kids. Failure isn’t the problem. Giving up is the problem. Dust yourself off, get back to it, and work on that habit.
2020 is going to be a great year. You know why? Because you got this.
Now, go get ‘em!
Don’t believe in resolutions? We get it. Why don’t you call them habits and try our five tips? You might surprise yourself.
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A little change can help make a big difference for the earth.