Are you tired of choosing the same resolutions each year, only to grow tired of them after a few weeks because you’ve set the bar too high? Each January, I witness the parking lot at the gym near my home fill up until people are forced to park on the roadsides. And, each February, I see a large percentage of those parking spaces empty. That’s because resolution burnout is a common thing. Why? We expect too much of ourselves and adopt an all-or-nothing perspective, setting ourselves up for failure before we even get started. Follow these tips to make meaningful resolutions for the new year.
Why do you want to lose weight or get out of debt? Peel back the layers and determine the root of your resolution. Is it to reduce stress or to have more energy? There is always an underlying need.
Be kind to yourself.
Is your goal grounded in pointing out your inadequacies? It’s okay to push yourself to move off the couch and outside your comfort zone, but be sure it is done in a positive and loving way. We are our own worst critics and if our resolutions are based in negativity, the outcome is likely to disappoint.
Some may be able to stand at the base of Mt. Everest and not feel initmidated, but for the majority of us, large feats are overwhelming. This can send us tumbling back down the mountain. Instead of saying “I will be a size 2 by summer,” try “I will lose 5 pounds by February.” If it’s debt you want to tackle for your resolution, try “I will put an extra $20 per month toward my debt.” Don’t bite off more than you can chew. You will just end up feeling defeated. Meaningful resolutions are those we can achieve.
Nothing helps move us toward our goals like someone to hold us accountable, someone to cheer us on from the bleachers like they did in all the 80’s flicks. If your friends have different resolutions or if you’re more comfortable confiding in strangers, join a support group online or in your community. There are support groups for every struggle now.
Plan for Obstacles
It seems an inevitability. As soon as we adopt a resolution, our weakness shows up to knock us off-course, whether the donuts in the break room or that sale blouse we can’t resist using a credit card to purchase. Don’t be blindsided by temptation. Have a plan in place for each situation. Carry some healthy snacks, leave credit cards at home, or visit the break room and department stores as little as possible.
The possibilities for New Year’s resolutions are endless. Each is an attempt to improve ourselves in some way. Just remember to cut yourself some slack and carefully choose meaningful resolutions. And, if you fail, pick yourself back up. It doesn’t have to be the beginning of a new year to start again. Happy New Year!