Making New Year's Resolutions (and sticking to them!)
Where the heck did 2016 go?! I swear I was just tucking away my winter clothes for that beautiful spring weather, yet here we are again: Another year comes to a close. Time to kick those old habits, dream big and finally tackle the "to-do's" you've been tucking away for when you have time. What I love about the new year is the opportunity to clear the slate, once again. Let us not forget our trials and triumphs over the past year, however. May you use those to drive you into 2017 with strength, excitement and curiosity!
My approach this year was simple: What am I doing now that I'd like to change for the better, and what do I wish I could do regardless of time, funds or energy? Those two questions helped me evaluate where I am now compared to where I'd like to be, and allowed me to express what I really want to achieve without any restrictions (I'll cross those bridges when I get there).
I know it's not easy to stay on track, especially long term. Motivation starts to wear thin come the end of February. That chocolate you've been avoiding is starting to sound real good. Why is the gym so flippin' far away?? Hey, March! Couch and Netflix it is. I'm so right there with you. Twelve months of commitment to a handful of goals is no small feat. So, here are some tips to keep in mind when coming up with your own resolutions for the new year so you can check them all off in December, celebratory glass of wine in hand!
1. Let it be known
It's way too easy to trim that list of resolutions when we realize twelve months is progressing more slowly than expected. By sharing your goals with friends, family, coworkers and social networks you're committing to yourself and those other people, and the best part is now you have some cheerleaders! I found this to be true when I trained for my first marathon in 2013. I knew it was a stretch for me mentally and physically, but not impossible. The more people I told, the more committed I was to achieving that goal. The last thing I wanted to do was hype everyone up and then give up, and just knowing that I had friends and family really rooting for me made it that much more rewarding when I crossed the finish line.
2. Create a healthy balance
Don't stress yourself out by setting a slew of aggressive goals. I think it's healthy to have a balance and range of goals for you to work toward throughout the year so you're not killing yourself to get things done. Maybe you're going to start getting up an hour earlier during the week to take a morning run. Balance that out with a goal of setting aside time for yourself to relax, which includes sleeping in on the weekend, or carving out some time to read a good book! If you're looking to lose weight or eat healthily perhaps you try starting small with a couple of workouts a week and mildly adjusting your diet for 1-2 meals before working your way up to a more frequent workout schedule and complete overhaul of your diet. Resolutions are intended for a variety of reasons, one of the most popular being "to create a new you". Sure, that's great and all, but don't discredit where you are now, and give yourself a break every now and then. You deserve it!
3. Take your time
Not all goals have to be checked off at the end of January, ladies and gents! You've got twelve months to accomplish whatever lands on your list, so do yourself a favor and spread them out. One thing I'm going to use this year in order to stay organized and keep these items top of mind is a day planner. Not the digital kind; A good old fashioned spiral bound book (remember those?!). To start, I'm going to write in where I can comfortably make time for specific goals over the course of the next year (workouts, travel, etc.) and use that as a guide to help keep me on track. Yes, plans change, life gets in the way, but it's a step in the right direction and by having a rough plan in place I know I'll be more likely to carve out dedicated time and stay committed long term.
4. Team up
You know the saying, the more the merrier! It's always great to have a partner when you're working toward something. Not only does it make it more enjoyable, but having another person working toward the same goal will encourage you to stick to it. When you're feeling worn out or unmotivated, they'll be there to encourage you to get moving, and vice versa! I often find it much easier to get through a workout when I have a buddy to join me. It's easy to slack off or skip a workout, but when I see my partner working hard it makes me want to work harder, and it's an opportunity to be social and catch up, too. You'll thank yourself for it later!
5. Have fun!
Need I say more? You can make these as grueling or effortless as you desire, but for Pete's sake, don't over do it. These aren't set in stone. There are no rules. Enjoy it, every sweaty, painful, tiring, hilarious, never-ending, rewarding, share-worthy little bit.
I can't wait to hear all about your adventures in 2017 and I'm looking forward to sharing mine, too. Good luck to all you resolutioners, I'm rooting for you!
Love, luck and coffee,