January is coming to an end and our New Year’s resolutions are in full swing…or are they? How do we make the resolutions we committed to come to fruition? These ideas might help you get rid of bad habits and kick-start that new phase in your life.
1. Pick just one thing. If you’re aiming to change your life, don’t try to do it all at
once. Pick one area or thing to change and start there.
2. Plan ahead. To ensure success, research the change and plan ahead so you’re
3. Anticipate problems. There is always going to be something. Identify what
could possibly crop up.
4. Pick a start date (one that’s really attainable). Who says you have to make
these changes today? Pick a date and stick to it.
5. Just “Go for It.” When you hit that date, go for that goal 100%. Make the
commitment; write it down on a card. Keep that card with you at all times to
reinforce the goal.
6. Accept failure. We’re human. Realize that you’re not going to be perfect.
7. Plan on rewards. If you hit your goal, and keep to your resolutions, reward
yourself with something that really makes you tick.
Whatever your plans for 2012, we wish you the best on your endeavors.
Don’t forget that your life is your own; you make your own luck, and decide how you get there!
Today’s author is Mollee Bauer, founder of pregnancy.org where smart, savvy moms go for the best advice and support on the web.
The New Year is a time of renewal and change, but what, exactly, ARE New Year’s Resolutions?
Dictonary.com defines “resolution” as: the mental state or quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose. Resolute alludes to making a decision; a popular one being losing weight. However, the difference between a decision and a resolution is significant. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to the gym three times per week this year.” It is also easy to NOT go to the gym three times per week. So, unless you stick with a plan (or resolution), you have not made a decision.
So, what makes a good New Year’s Resolution?
Number one: it has to be realistic. You cannot expect yourself to go from exercising only when you go up the stairs to getting to the gym 5 days per week! Number two: you have to know it’s attainable: if there’s no gym in your town and you would have to drive 25 miles to get there, then how attainable is that, really? Number three: it has to be important. If you make a resolution to lose 10 pounds and you really don’t care if it happens, then its not important to you.
Here are some ideas for Self-Care New Year’s Resolutions:
• Take 15 minutes every day for “me” time
• Set aside 30 minutes to 2 hours per week to be completely lazy (do nothing
productive during this time)
• Say “no” more often
• Visualize yourself in your “Happy Place” five minutes per day
Each year I try to come up with “new” New Year’s resolutions, but most of the time I return to the same ones. Those haunting “life issues” that persist in spite of my best intentions. Two of my finest are: 1) Don’t take things personally; and 2) Don’t make assumptions.
This year, I decided to get ahead by listening to one of my favorite audiobooks about changing these habits, The Four Agreements. In it, Don Miguel Ruiz maps out a detailed plan of how to stop taking things personally and making assumptions. Usually, I listen to these inspirational messages on the way to and from work. It helps strengthen my commitment to change and persistence.
I’ve been doing this for several years and it’s a strategy I think most of us can benefit from. However, here comes the perspiration part. There is no way I (or anyone else) can change our thoughts or actions without choosing different ones. Like Nike says, “Just Do It.” Throughout the day, I have abundant opportunities (as most of us do) to be aware of these thoughts and to challenge my “stinking thinking.”
Last week, I heard from a friend I’d phoned 2 weeks ago forgetting she’d gone out of town. In the meantime, I’d decided that I’d offended her and that’s why she hadn’t called. My #2 “Don’t make assumptions.” Clearly, I haven’t practiced this enough.
I’m committed to my inspiration-perspiration workout for 2012. What are you resolved to change? What inspires/strengthens your resolve? Let us know.
Einstein said “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it. ” So how are you prepared to approach your New Year’s resolutions differently this year in order for them to succeed?
The truth is good intentions only go so far and then there is the hard work of continuing to change day after day. The following are some recommendations to help you make change stick.
Think big. Start small. Break down the change you want to make into attainable steps. For example, if you want to exercise and you haven’t been to the gym in years, dedicate 30 minutes twice a week to go for a walk or take a fitness class. Create goals you can maintain. Once you’ve mastered one step, take the next one.
Remember change is a process. Habits take time to learn and longer to unlearn. How long have you been smoking? Overeating? If it’s been longer than a year or two, it’s probably something you do automatically. Start by consciously monitoring when you smoke, overeat, etc. and making a different choice which will eventually become a new, healthier habit.
Be accountable. Only you can make change happen whether it’s losing weight or quitting smoking. No matter how much work or relationship stress you experience, doesn’t mean you have to reach for a Big Mac or a cigarette. Only you have the power to change your life.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? How are you making change stick? What’s working or not?
Everyone starts the New Year’s with the best intentions. Determined to make changes to improve their lives in significant ways. And what happens? Most of us fail miserably. Instead of aiming for the moon, we need to undertake small, attainable goals. Like practicing self-care 15 minutes a day (which many have remarked is difficult enough).
Breaking the change into smaller steps can make it easier to achieve. For example, if someone wants to lose 50 pounds this year, start with losing 1-2 pounds each week. To do this, a person has to reduce their daily calorie intake by 500 calories each day or increase their activity to burn an extra 500 calories a day. Doesn’t this sound less daunting? By changing how we think about our goals, we can improve our motivation and persistence.
Likewise, it’s important to set our daily attention on what we want to do different. When we get up in the morning, spend 5 minutes visualizing the desired change and let it be known that “Today I will make this happen.” Once the intention is set, go about the day normally. Remember, life responds to what we put our attention and intention on.
Finally, if we get off track, don’t become self-critical. Since what we think about expands, this only leads to feeling worse and diminishing motivation and persistence. Instead, use this as a learning opportunity to re-evaluate what may need to be done and re-calibrate the next step. Each moment affords a new choice. Success is only a step away.