Every new year most of us resolve to make some changes in our lives. We resolve to exercise more, eat healthier, get more sleep, break our bad habits. And some of us are successful. For a month. Turns out most of us before mid year have already given up on our resolutions. So how do we resolve to stay committed to reaching our new year’s goals?
Make it a habit
I woke up one morning with a full on dread that bordered on anxiety at the prospect of taking the subway into work. I can’t think of a worse way to start my day than to battle the chaos that is the Yonge southbound line during morning rush hour. So it dawned on me. I could walk. It adds an extra half an hour to my commute, but it’s worth it. Now it’s part of my daily routine. Starting my day with fresh air, exercise and my latest audio book has become one of my best new habits.
Know the why
Set goals that you know you really want to achieve and for what purpose. If your ultimate goal is to lose 10 pounds, break it down into smaller, manageable goals. If you hate going to the gym, you won’t make it a habit. Find something you enjoy doing that is active, bring a friend along so that little extra exercise isn’t something you dread. By being honest with yourself about what changes you are confident you will stick with, you are more likely to be successful. Keep your eye on the ultimate prize. Even if it’s to post to instagram your new fit physique.
Set reminders and rewards
If the goal is something you know will take perseverance and hard work to achieve, give yourself some motivation to stay focused by rewarding yourself for the steps you make along the way. A new workout outfit laid out the night before might help with the motivation. The reward might be a new pair of jeans in the size you want to fit into at the end of the month. Having something to look forward to will help you get through those tough workouts and will help to keep you disciplined.
You can reinvent yourself
Too often we find ourselves trapped by our own image of who we are and let our past experiences define us. No matter where you are right now in your journey, by making small changes to your routine and breaking out of some perceived notion of who we think we should be, we can all become masters of our own destiny. It’s never too late.
New dawn new day
Breaking a bad habit is hard. Creating a new one isn’t easy either. The standard thinking is that it takes 21 days to break a habit and/or create a new one. There may well be the odd slip up. Moments of weakness. Do not be discouraged. Even the great ones make mistakes. Forgive yourself and consider every day a new opportunity. Learn from yesterday and then let it go. If having a short memory makes for a good marriage then consider the same for the relationship you have with yourself. Your yesterday does not define you. All we really have is this moment. Focus on what you can do to achieve your goals today and tomorrow will take care of itself.
So I wish you all not luck in reaching your new year’s goals, but joy and discovery and happiness in the journey. Sometimes its as simple as saying you will be just a little better today than you were yesterday. The 10 minute walk becomes 20. The 5 push ups 10. And if you, like me have already slipped up here and there on your resolutions…remember, tomorrow is a new dawn a new day…and I’m feeling good.
Until next time!