5 Tips on Crushing Your New Year’s Resolutions
By Macheala Taylor | HealthCorps Coordinator 2018 – 2019
WHAT? New Year’s? Didn’t we just have Thanksgiving? It’s true, but in our fast-paced world, the next big thing is always right around the corner. That “big thing” I’m referring to is the New Year. Many people believe in the concept of “New Year, New Me,” but that mantra is just one of the many reasons I have crashed and burned when it comes to my New Year’s hopes and dreams. Worst of all, I end up having conversations with myself that go something like “Well, you already failed, gotta wait until next year and try again” or “I am never going to be as good as that other person, so why try?” Cynical, I know — but you and I can do better! I hope this list helps you DO better and BE better as I know it will help me!
New Year, but Same Wonderful You
Whoever said the old you wasn’t good enough was wrong! You and all your wonderful glory are fabulous as it, and I mean that! Your habits, income, views, beliefs, all the things, do not dictate your worth or importance. Resolutions shouldn’t be about reinvention or rediscovery, they should be about you just wanting to be the best version of yourself. To steal from one of my favorite people, Kid President, “You’re here. You take up space. You Matter.”
Don’t Make Resolutions, Make Habits Instead
Changing the way you look at New Year’s resolutions can have all the difference. When I say “resolutions”, I am 99.999% positive your first phrase of association is “New Year”, but when I say “habit”, a whole slew of other phrases and words are fair game! Forbes Magazine describes “resolutions” as “big, bold actions” completely dependent on motivation. Habits, in contrast, are more natural. Resolutions are things whereas habits are actions; actions we can control. Every person has already formed habits without even thinking. Some are good, such as my habit of eating breakfast every day before work or class, and some are not so good (such as the five flavors of Dove Dark chocolate in my desk). The resolutions you set at the beginning of the year can either be done or not, but habits aren’t as static. They can change and adapt and grow at any time throughout the year. Humans change and adapt and grow, so our dreams and aspirations should do the same!
Hope is Not a Strategy
Special shout-out to Rachel Hollis yelling this to me in her book “Girl, Wash Your Face”. I apply it to every single aspect of my life and I’ll say it for those of you in the back, “HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY.” Hoping you will lose 10 pounds, hoping you will get a promotion, hoping you will learn how to cook more at home, and hoping your habits (previously known as resolutions) will come true is NOT a strategy for success. Rachel also says: You have to do all of the things! To lose the weight, you have to treat your body the way it deserves by fueling it with good foods and exercising, to get the promotion, you have to stay late and come in early; you get the gist! No matter what your goals or habits may be for 2019, you have to be willing to put in the work. Baby steps or giant elephant steps, you have to be the one to lace up your shoes and get to steppin’.
New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Have to Be For a Full Year
One Year. 365 Days. That is A LOT of days. Why commit to 365 days when you haven’t even committed one day to your goal? Take your goals and habits a day at a time. Try doing your new thing every day for a week. Or 3 times a week for a month. Don’t set yourself up for failure by telling yourself you have to do something for a year. If you want to start going to the gym in the new year, try going once a week for a month. Then maybe try going 3 times a week for 2 months. Then 4 times a week for 6 months. Start small, both with your goals and your time. Starting small ensures a greater success rate. You can thank me later.
The last and most important thing: FORGIVE YOURSELF. I am my meanest and hardest critic. No one can put me down better than myself because I know where all the sore spots are! Sound familiar? If so, be nice to yourself! No matter how hard we try to be, perfection is always out of reach. So, forgive yourself when you go out for ice cream to celebrate with a friend even though your New Year’s (Resolution) was to give up sugar. Forgive yourself when you vowed to get your life together by starting a savings account but don’t have to dip into said account to buy a new tire. And don’t wait until next year to try to do better.
A new year is just a date on the calendar, don’t let it steal your job! You are awesome and wonderful, and I believe in you!