A Year of Fulfillable Resolutions
By Tracey Starck
Every new year we tend to make lofty promises of breaking all of our bad habits and becoming a better version of ourselves. We start our diets, begin an exercise routine, fill our calendars and we do it with post-holiday fervor! Then life happens. Busy schedules, winter ailments and delicious Girl Scout cookies derail our progress and we’re back to our old selves again. The old you is still a great you, so why not make this the year of fulfillable resolutions? Instead of aiming for big life-changing goals, try to break them down into one achievable goal per month. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
A Month to Focus on Diet
Instead of eliminating everything “bad” from your diet, try just cutting back. If you have a junk food habit, limit yourself to just one or two small treats per week. Challenge yourself by trying to go without the treat, but know that it’s okay if you can’t, just as long as you aim stay within your limit. If you want to eat healthier, don’t force yourself to eat salad and diet food every single day. Instead, try to incorporate fruit and veggies into some of your favorite recipes, find healthy substitutions and limit your number of “unhealthy” meals. Remember, the goal is to make an improvement to your old habits for at least one month— that’s an achievable goal. By the end on the month, you’ll probably find that you want to continue it into the next month as well because you aren’t depriving yourself. You’re more likely to stick with it if you limit yourself as opposed to the unrealistic expectation of eliminating foods completely.
A Month to Focus on Exercise
We buy new workout clothes, strap on our Fitbit, sign up for exercise classes and promise ourselves that we are going to exercise regularly. The reality is that our schedules get busy and our energy gets drained during our daily grind. If you’ve been known to lose momentum on sticking with a workout routine, try making goals that are honest with your lifestyle and try sticking with it for just one month. Exercise classes can be a challenge for a packed schedule so try doing mini-exercise sessions throughout your day. It’s easy to squeeze in ten minutes of yoga in the morning, a short walk during your work breaks or lunch, and maybe a brief workout when you get home. If you prefer workout classes, try to stick with a schedule that you know you’re able to commit to and on days you’ll feel motivated. For instance, Friday evenings can be a challenge when friends want to go out or you just want to recover from a long week. The goal is to be more active than you used to be and try to stick with it for a minimum of one month then see how long you can keep it going.
A Month to Focus on Self Improvement
Self improvement doesn’t mean a complete overhaul of what makes you who you are. You better yourself by doing things that bring you joy and peace. For each month of this year, choose an activity that can improve your life. For instance, for one month you can aim to do some volunteer work while another month can focus on connecting with nature more often. Some other goals can include spending quality time with friends or family, reading books, carving out time to meditate, or clearing out clutter in your home. You can make it an opportunity to try new things or do something outside your comfort zone. Just give yourself one month to achieve each goal and then decide from there if you want to continue.
By setting up achievable resolutions with only a one month deadline, you avoid the inevitable feeling of disappointment from often unrealistic year-long resolutions. This way, you will have accomplished the small goals that you set up for yourself which will give you the confidence to keep it going or tackle new goals to creating not a new you, but the best you.