Every year, people around the World share their New Year’s resolutions with family and friends (and sometimes strangers). Although we know that changes in our life need to be made, we quickly resolve to the fact that New Year’s is the best time to do so. Then we see a flurry of articles about how unrealistic resolutions are and that 80% of people fail at their resolutions by February.
I’ve been on a journey for a little more than two months now. Initially, I perceived it as a mechanism to get myself out of the rut of being overweight and extremely unhealthy. However, as my journey continued, it became a series of resolutions, thoughtfully created, to create a better life overall. At the stroke of midnight on January 1, I was elated to look at myself and realize that I stuck steadfastly to everything I committed to along this journey. I finally learned how to resolve correctly and now I want to share it with you!
I’m going to use my journey as an example of how to stick to your resolutions this year and live the life you truly deserve.
10 Tips About Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions
- Set S.M.A.R.T goals
Being a woman in business, I made the decision to lose weight to feel better. While others reach for the stars, I created SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) where I set a goal of 25 pounds lost by New Years and evaluate how I feel at that particular time and then deside to set another goal. I surpassed my goal by 15 pounds. Now my goal is another 25 by April 1, 2018.
- Put yourself first
I put my goals first, which in turn I put ME first. A huge ah-ha moment for myself happened when my 22-year old daughter called me with her woes and I immediately sighed and said “I realize you’re struggling and I’m sorry and I love you, but it was you who decided to live in Toronto. You are twenty-two and not ten, you must learn to get through this tunnel yourself and find the light.” As horrible as I felt for saying “No, not this time.”, I came to the conclusion that we have to take care of ourselves first. My advice is to send light and love to those who want to unload their stresses on you. Then release them. They have to find their way around their struggles. You’re on a path where you can’t own anything that isn’t yours.
- It’s all about changing your mindset
The key to achieving anything is a strong mindset. Sometimes you have to change everything about you to get to the mindset required to achieve your goals. Changing your mindset takes a lot of work, meditation and thoughtful one-on-one moments. Once you get there, you’ll only get stronger, braver, and more resilient to the changes happening around you. Stay steadfast to your mindset at home, at play and at work.
- Take notes when you give into addictive behaviours
Rather than kicking yourself for your failure, analyze it. Ask yourself, what was it that made you succumb? Write it down. You may also want to share your journey (as I do) because there isn’t one person who hasn’t succumb to failure. The biggest thing you must NOT do is blame others as it was YOU who made the decisions to give in. Own it, write your reasons down, and move forward without regret.
- Command support
With any resolution commitment, your mindset and overall thinking are bound to change. You’ll see yourself SHOCKED by the things you say and the firm lines you draw. Many times we expect our family and friends to support us by not eating or drinking when you are around, but having support is far deeper than that. For myself, it wasn’t about the support of eating, it’s the support of supporting me, my mindset changes, my new nuisances, and my overall goals. We all want to be heard and, much of the time, resolution success revolves around our friends, family and even colleagues. If you don’t have the support, it’s time to evaluate your relationships because hopefully, your resolve is a lifelong change and not a temporary one.
- Look at every day as a new day
At first, I completely set myself up for failure as I created a countdown to goal one. It wasn’t until I succumb to my resolution and entered every day as a new day that I was able to truly feel successful and free to embrace the changes happening mentally and physically.
- Don’t compare
In today’s digital World, comparing our lives to others seems to be a huge barrier to getting what we want in life. If you must, stop scrolling social feeds and wallowing how your small improvements are nowhere near the improvements of others. We all have our goals. Some have a stronger mindset than others. It’s not luck that got them there, it’s their mindset and hard work. Embrace their success as a tool to create a strong mindset for yourself. You’ll get there if you don’t compare.
- Do it with a friend
While I chose to do this journey alone, I see many people creating their resolution to align with that of a friend. I recall many times doing this and being “that friend” who really wasn’t motivated to walk in – 10-degree weather or finding 100 excuses not to go to the gym. My advice is that you find a friend with an open mind to changing their mindset and lifestyle. Otherwise, it’s a resolution meant to be broken, if you don’t take the journey yourself. I have to admit, I do have a great friend support system, but everything I do, I do it alone by choice and I read A LOT about spiritual growth.
- Wrenches are everywhere
Yes, it’s true. I’ve been thrown a few wrenches along my journey. First and foremost, was the diagnosis of my father having metastasized bone cancer. That said, we’ve had to move my parents into our home for the Winter, relocate my office into a much smaller space, and adjust to living with my parents. As well, my youngest son moved out on his own. Suffice to say, this alone was just cause to succumb to my old habits. I could have been blamed on circumstance, but I forged through. Yes, it been tough but don’t use a few wrenches thrown at you as an excuse to unresolve your resolutions. (I see this a lot when it comes to people who want to quit drinking.) Remind yourself, there are so many people out there with bigger problems than what you’re dealing with.
- Reward Yourself
I’m not going to lie, I have rewarded myself a few times. However, I’ve been smart about it. Instead of a full plate of Christmas delights, I settled for turkey and vegetables. I’ve made a conscious effort to avoid bread because it truly is my nemesis. As the weight goes down, I initially stayed steadfast to my goal and decided not to buy new clothes. Big mistake. Go ahead, treat yourself! It will drive you to keep on, keeping on!
Take this final note from a fat girl making huge changes in her life. If you’ve fallen off the resolution wagon, get back on and don’t look back! Change your mindset to achieve these goals. Stay steadfast. Say “No”. Develop relationships that align with your mindset. Challenge yourself daily. Remember, make everyday worth getting up to and live it to the fullest!
It’s so easy to go back to old ways, so please, if you feel the need let’s cheer on each other to get to where we need to be! My journey has just begun.