Happy February! How is your New Years Resolution going?
Most likely, you answered that question one of three ways.
- HA! Yeah right, I gave up on that halfway through January.
- I didn’t even bother to set one because I knew I’d fail.
- (The unlikely) It’s going great! I’m right on track and am succeeding in my goals!
Now that we’re a month in to 2018, what can you do about it? Is it too late? Just try again next year? Maybe 2019 will be your year. Not so fast.
I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions. (Wait, what? Then why is your blog post titled New Years Resolutions Leah??) I believe in making regular, conscious choices and efforts to better your life. Most people set such lofty goals for their resolutions that it’s almost impossible to succeed. You set yourself up to 'fail' and then the idea of the resolution becomes merely that, an idea. I believe there are better ways to resolve to change your habits, whether that be at the start of the new year, the new moon, whatever. Make your ‘resolution’ something small and attainable. It’s easier to complete and you’re less likely to give up or feel like a failure.
Were you someone who started January off thinking “I’m going to work out 5 times a week or more! I’m going to get IN SHAPE this year!” And then by the second week of January, when you only went to the gym three times because it was too damn cold outside, you think “Oh well, maybe I’ll try again for bikini season.” Don’t wait! Instead, make your goal smaller. Try to check out a new workout class at your gym, try a new yoga teacher, or wake up for that 6 am grind just once week. Why? Because you can do it! And then you don’t feel bad on Saturday when you’ve only gone to the gym twice, you’re actually ahead of schedule! It’s not about trying to change your entire routine in one go, it’s about learning and working new habits into your days, weeks, and months. Slowly, as you feel confident about your once a week goal, you can decide to kick it up a notch, or two. Ease into it. Just like we ease into spring and slowly begin to thaw, you can build your resolution to build with the seasons. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon (Or some other analogy, I don't know I don't run.)
Does your resolution have to stay the same all year? Hell no! Let your goals grow and change with you. That’s why now, February 1, is a great time to reassess. What worked for you in January? What didn’t? Utilize what you’ve learned and create a brand new February goal. It often is easier to set miniature goals, resolutions, for every month or even every two weeks. When you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, rather than pushing your resolution all the way to December, you’re more likely to keep track, and keep it up!
Having trouble keeping up with your goals? Find a buddy! Everything is better with a friend. Hold each other accountable, take classes together, check in regularly on how things are going. Knowing someone else is keeping tabs on your goals will keep you on track, and you can help each other succeed. (And if you need a buddy contact me! I'm happy to push you to drink more water, meditate more, cook more homemade meals, or drag you kicking and screaming to my 8:30 am yoga class next Saturday ;))
Most importantly, don’t be hard on yourself if you mess up, if you miss a week, or if you don’t feel like getting out of bed for a day or two. If you just keep your goals in mind, and make a conscious effort to change your routine even in the tiniest way, you’re well on your way to a wonderful 2018.