It’s that reflective time of year again–when we reflect and project. But in this instantaneous and changing world, how can we commit to our New Year’s resolutions? This article discusses how I’ve managed to stick to my resolutions over the years.
Growing up the daughter of a marine was complete misery for me as a child. My dad was rigid about rules with high expectations and left little to no room for error. As an adult, I now have a knack for self-discipline. That doesn’t mean it’s easy by any means; it means I was raised tackling tasks I loathed–and I’m giving up isn’t an option.
KNOW THY SELF! It astounds me how many people–my mother one of them–have not put much thought into who they are and what they are actually willing to do. This could be the biggest reason why people fail to stick to their resolutions…seriously!
In my 20s, it was hard for me to stick to my New Year resolutions because I genuinely was out of touch with my being. After failing the “exercise” goal several years in a row; I finally took a long hard look at myself. The truth was, I was never going to go to the gym regularly. Once I recognized that, I started exploring other ways to be active and that’s when my life began to change.
With that being said, set yourself up for success–START SMALL. Take change one step at a time, but keep stepping. Once you get real with yourself; everything else will begin to fall in place.
MAKE IT OFFICIAL
Does this mean announcing to the world on Facebook your upcoming changes? If that’s what will hold you accountable, do it! Just don’t be embarrassed if someone calls you out about it if you fall off the wagon.
For me, making it official means writing down short term goals and re-evaluating them regularly. In fact, to me, writing things down means business–I must keep my to word. It’s almost like dad’s chore list on the fridge we had to get done with no if-ands-or-buts. Once it’s written down, it’s like being carved in stone. Even now, I can identify how serious I really am about change by if I decide to write it down or not.
BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST CHEERLEADER
What happens when–not if–we fall off the wagon? Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t give up. Do whatever you gotta do to get back on it! We’ve all heard, “failing to plan means planning to fail”. If you think change is so easy that you won’t slip up, I refer you back to what was already discussed about being realistic.
Whenever I feel like I’m slipping into the abyss, I imagine voices screaming, “YOU CAN DO IT!”, “GET BACK UP!”, “YOU ROCK, CHICA!”. In the past, I’ve been known to really rip into myself; if I were to talk to another person the way I had been talking to myself, I could expect to get punched in the mouth. However, I’ve learned the error of my ways. I’ve recently been applying some supportive self-talk. Positive self-talk gives me the strength to press on. In return, I feel so proud–I was down; but not out. I was lost; but now I’m found!
Now before I go, I’ll leave you with a quick self-evaluation that can help you identify ways that could contribute to or hinder your success.
- What time of day is most convenient for you?
- On a scale o 1-10 how much effort are you willing to put into your change?
- Can you stick to a schedule or do you find it too difficult?
- What motivates you?
- What has kept you from keeping your resolutions before?
I truly hope that you are successful with your goals! Remember, baby steps; but keep stepping=)