How to Keep Those Resolutions
You Can Do This
But let's face it. Sometimes you just can't.
Sometimes you come home from a long day at school or work, or you're just sitting in your sweat pants at home treating yourself to couch potato-ness and you can't zap yourself out of your lump-like state to do the lovely adult things that you know you should be doing. You know, the things that you set out to do at some pivotal moment in the not so distant past.
Maybe this feeling hits in week 2, or maybe it's already punched you in the face and you're in a pit of despair. Either way, set yourself up for success or set yourself up to fail. Because let's face it, you set some pretty big goals and you set them because you need to focus on them.
They're not going anywhere until you change it up.
I'm in my twenties so I'm definitely at an experimental point in my life where I am forging new habits, understanding my tendencies, and experiencing my personal limits.
These are some of the things that I'm keeping in mind as I go into this year because I know that I am human and that auto-pilot sounds pretty nice sometimes.
1. Be Kind to Yourself: Self-Awareness
There is so much to be said about aiming high. I am truly my toughest critic and am rarely pleased with my achievements. This is something that I've realized in adulthood and am aware of in my everyday decisions and thoughts. But a huge part of progress and growth comes in allowing yourself grace. Chasing goals doesn't matter if you're miserable.
There are times to be hard yourself, but there is definitely a need to observe your struggle and remove yourself from it. If you're overcoming a challenge to meet a goal or change a habit, it's going to be uncomfortable. Being harsh on yourself is not going to do much productive good after a while. After you realize that there is a need for change, be gentle. Set goals and habits that are productive and not based on feelings of guilt or punishment.
Do whatever it is that you need to do to observe yourself as often as you can. First, try doing it as objectively as possible. It takes practice. But you'll notice that you're more honest with yourself and your own expectations when you're aware of what your soul needs.
2. Answerability Accountability
Remember the feeling you had during school when you didn't do the reading and the teacher called on you for an answer? You should have gotten to it, but you didn't. You melt into a puddle in your seat and regret all of your life decisions. And in that moment you vow to yourself that you will not let that happen again.
We need little moments like this to nudge us along.
If you're lucky enough to have people in your life that will give you regular reality checks, then sign up yourself up for some gut-check sessions. Share your new habits or goals with those around you. Tell people when you fail. Celebrate with people when you succeed.
Personally, I buckle under the pressure of my own disappointment when I'm tempted to do less than my own expectations. I'm weird. I am a serial list maker.
I hate empty checkboxes - a lot.
Find the thing that makes you cringe a little - then use that to your advantage.
3. Make it Easy for Yourself
Take your foot off of the gas and give yourself a break once in a while.
The moment you're feeling ambitious and energized is the best opportunity for you to figure out a way to make sure you have a backup plan when you're feeling the opposite someday. Use that excess enthusiasm for the moments you aren't so enthused by your goals.
Let's say one of your goals is to invest more time in old friendships. For me, it's hard to motivate myself to make plans when I'm tired after work - so I make plans in advance and make a check box (see what I did there?) on my calendar on that day. It works best for me when I do it on a day that I'm particularly social and chipper. Channel your energy towards future good.
Schedule your workout session after you've had your Americano and you're bouncing off the walls.
Book a vacation when you feel like things are slowing down and you have a lot of free time.
Set up a recurring savings payment when your fresh paycheck rolls in.
Finally, my personal favorite, set it and forget it (until it's time to remember). Use the calendar on your phone to set up recurring reminders of things like bills, gym sessions, doctors appointments, friendship wine nights, etc. There are enough things in your life that you need to keep up with. Simplify and keep everything filed away until it's time to think about it. It takes approximately 10 seconds to set up one item.
Master Tip: this works great with things like remembering birthdays or anything else that requires some planning. Set up an alert to remind you before the date of the calendar event.
The best system is the one that works best for you.
Long-term goal setting is a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure to set up some pit stops and supporters along your route and think about the cheeseburger you'll get to eat when you finish.
Yes, the cheeseburger can have extra cheese. It's your burger, make it as you wish.