It seems like there’s a backlash this year against New Year’s resolutions. It’s very true that many people make these vows and then slip back into their wicked ways within the first week of the year. But…it doesn’t have to be like that.
I think that the first day of the year is a perfect time for introspection. What are you doing wrong? What are you doing right? What should you improve?
Each year, I spend the first with my journal and I write down the answers to these questions and many more. Then, I read over what I’ve written and see what I can improve.
Last year, for example, I vowed to lose 20 pounds. I lost 23, and I did it by going back and revisiting my goal. Did I slip up? Of course – I lost 31 pounds, gained 12 back, and then lost 5 again. I kept this goal foremost in my mind and worked on changing my habits.
It’s the little things you do each day that create the person that you are.
If you aren’t happy with some part of your life, chances are, it’s the things you do each day that are supporting the very thing you aren’t happy with.
Here’s how that works:
- Are you in a bad relationship? Then perhaps you are allowing yourself to be mistreated by not putting your foot down. Maybe you could leave the relationship, but it seems too complicated, so each day you stay and become more miserable. Perhaps you’ve never communicated the problem to your partner.
- Are you overweight and/or out of shape? Maybe you are eating the wrong things for your body every day, and you know it but do it anyway. Maybe you are watching TV instead of getting up and moving your body. Maybe you are drinking a sugary beverage every morning or afternoon.
- Are you unhealthy? Maybe you are choosing foods that support the illness instead of your health. Maybe you are skipping essential medications. Maybe you’re putting yourself at the mercy of your doctor instead of doing your own research.
- Are you broke? Maybe you are spending money to comfort yourself. Maybe you are going into debt by shopping compulsively when something is wrong. Maybe you are too busy “treating” yourself on a regular basis to see that a treat is an occasional thing and a daily thing is a habit. Maybe you have a $5 a day coffee habit or smoking habit or soda pop habit.
As you can see in the examples above, there are actions that you can take to change the things you do each day that cause your issue.
Let me circumvent the barrage of angry comments and emails about why your issue isn’t your fault. Obviously, this isn’t true in every single case. Hormones can wreak havoc. Sometimes we get stuck in a bad relationship or a job that makes us miserable. Sometimes we don’t have enough money for our month.
But most of the time, you can make positive changes by just adjusting your habits.
Let’s look at resolutions a different way this year.
You can set your intentions for the year ahead, but you have to map out how you will reach your goal. For example, If you want to lose weight, for example, you need to create a plan that is easy to stick to. Maybe you could work on increasing your protein intake to 100 grams per day. Just that one change could make an enormous difference. For me, it was increasing my produce intake. Getting my 5 servings a day in helped me lose 23 pounds. This year, I’m upping it to 6 servings a day. So simple, yet so powerful.
If you’re being honest with yourself, you know exactly what you need to change. Now, all you have to do is figure out what habits are creating this unhappy reality and change them, gently, one-by-one.
I make resolutions each year because I think it’s an essential part of improving myself. I find it vital to take stock and become a better version of myself on a regular basis.
I encourage you to take a hard look at your life and make it better. What do you want to change this year? What are the habits you need to change to do it?