Want to make real, lasting change this year? Make that rigid New Year’s resolution list a thing of the past and rewrite your story.
Each year, we make resolutions vowing to stop unwanted behaviors and promising ourselves to adopt new, healthy habits. The problem? This tradition is steeped in negativity, and lacks elements of success, such as positivity, sustainability, or even fun. Year after year, we resolve to get to the gym, follow a strict diet, and lose weight—and then we’ve given up by spring.
Why does this happen? Because we tend to make aggressive resolutions we can’t keep. We also make resolutions that simply don’t excite us. This year, resist the urge to please anyone other than yourself or bite off too much at once. If you don’t want to run for an hour every morning or embark on a two-week juice cleanse, you don’t have to.
As the author of your own life, you can put a positive spin on New Year’s resolution list and let it take on new meaning. To keep the experience uplifting, your updated list will include three essential components:
There’s no need to set resolutions now for the entire year. Nobody knows what might change in your life between January and June. The key is to leave room for growth and flexibility by revisiting your resolutions each month.
Did you just breathe a sigh of relief? Clearly, it’s easier to think about meditating every day for a month than it is to think about meditating every day for a year. So take it slow.
Ready to get started? Here’s how:
When you sit down to write your resolutions, start by acknowledging where you are now. Though our instincts are to focus on the negative and what we haven’t yet accomplished, make a list of all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for.
Are you healthy? Do you take long walks with your dog every afternoon? Do you have access to clean drinking water and organic food? Once you start a gratitude list, it will be hard to stop!
What’s one thing you already do that brings you joy? Maybe you take yoga with your best friend every Saturday. Or, perhaps you start every morning by drinking a mug of warm lemon water. Refer to your gratitude list for inspiration.
Then, write one positive activity you want to keep up for the whole month. This ensures that you will make good habits and activities you love a priority. It’s easy to ditch your yoga class if you have a pile of laundry accruing, but if it’s on your resolution list, you might not be so quick to scratch it off your schedule.
Change is good, but slow, steady change is sustainable. Pick one new resolution and stick to it for a month. Remember, your mind and body will have an easier time committing to one simple change at a time.
Make each goal measurable so you can track success and make adjustments as needed. Here are a few examples:
After a month, check in with yourself. If all went well, start the process over from step one. This is how you can build on your success over time.
If something didn’t work, figure out why and adjust as necessary. For example, if you’re consistently missing your morning mediations, resolve to meditate in the evenings when you have a little more time. If silent meditations make you sleepy, try a guided mediation instead.
Small steps lead to transformative results. By incorporating simple changes into your life each month, you’re allowing yourself time to adjust before adding something new. It’s all about progress over perfection.This thoughtful approach is designed to create lasting change and avoid overwhelm. By the end of the year, you will be amazed by how much you accomplished, and how good you feel. And that’s the real goal, isn’t it?
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Stay Ever Well,
Lynne + Renee