It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect back on the past year and look towards next. Pretty soon everyone and their mother is going to be talking about their New Year’s resolutions and giving you their opinion on if you should make them or not.
The way I look at it, whether or not you are going to make a New Year’s resolution is up to you. If you want to do it, awesome! Go for it. And if you don’t, again – awesome, don’t.
Personally, I always make resolutions and it makes me crazy when people recommend that I shouldn’t. Why shouldn’t I? And why are you telling me I shouldn’t? I don’t get it.
Anyway! Over the years I’ve definitely made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to setting New Year’s Resolutions. Based on those mistakes, I’ve come up with a few tips to use when (and if) you choose to set some of your own!
1. Set specific goals and create an action plan that will help you to reach those goals.
Sounds super obvious right? But seriously, how I can’t tell you how many years my resolutions would look something like this:
• Eat more veggies
• Drink more water
• Do more yoga
• Read more
All great, but WAY to broad. Instead try this:
• I’m going to eat veggies at 2 of my main meals. I will roast a bunch of veggies on Sunday and keep baby carrots and cut up veggies (that I’ll buy already cut up) as well as frozen veggies so I have quick options on hand
• I will aim to drink 2 liters of water per day. I will finish one by 2pm and the other by 8pm. I’ll use my Nalgene water bottle so that I can easily keep track of the amount I’m drinking throughout the day.
• I will look at the class schedule at the end of every month and plan one class each week I know I can get to.
• I will read 5 pages per day
Now, not only do I have a few goals to work on, I also have exactly HOW I plan to work on them. Get specific!
2. Set resolutions that you actually WANT to work on.
Again, SUPER obvious, but a lot of the time I would set resolutions that I “thought” I should work on, opposed to ones that I actually wanted to work on.
Take my “do more yoga” as an example. I would set this as a resolution for YEARS. I thought I should incorporate more yoga because of the health benefits, calming effects, and all the anti-aging awesomeness that I’ve read about. But the only issue was that I EFFING HATED YOGA! Ok, hate is a strong word. But it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Which meant that after week 3 I started dreading going and by week 6 I would stop.
What it came down to was that I really didn’t *want* to do yoga, I just wanted to want to do yoga.
I wanted the stress reducing health benefits and a change to my typical training routine…but the thing is, there are a LOT of other things I can incorporate into my life that have the same benefits other than a 90 minute hot as hell yoga class. And things that I’ll actually enjoy. Like walking 🙂
Think about WHY you want to work on these resolutions. Why are they important to you and how will they benefit you. Then come up with something that you enjoy doing but that also takes care of your “why” and what you will get from it.
3. Know yourself and your tendencies.
I’m really on a roll with the obvious, but hear me out. If you’re not a morning person, don’t make a resolution to get to the gym at 5:30am 5 times per week to get to the gym. If you’re a night owl, maybe you should re-think your resolution of going to bed by 10pm.
Think about why past resolutions have failed, and use those past experiences to change your actions this year.
For example, I know for myself I do MUCH better with a little external accountability. If you’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s book, “Better Than Before”, (and if you haven’t – I highly recommend it), I’m a classic obliger. I struggle to meet inner expectations, but do really well with outer expectations. Meaning, I can say that I’m going to get to the gym at 6am (I’m very much a morning person) but unless someone is holding me accountable or I’m going to meet someone, I’ll struggle to get out of bed.
I used to view this as a weakness. Why couldn’t I just get the hell out of bed? I wanted to workout and if someone was meeting me I would never skip it, but more often than not I wouldn’t go unless I HAD to.
It’s how I’m wired. It’s fine. And knowing this has helped me TREMENDOUSLY in many aspects in my life. I love having people holding me accountable, so I use that to my advantage.
4. Tell someone what you are working towards.
I think this one depends on the nature of your goal and your individual tendency. As you probably can tell, I’m an open book. Putting myself on the hook is another external accountability tool that I use to my advantage. However, studies do show that telling people your goals and asking those people to hold you accountable can be very beneficial. Even asking them for HELP can go a long way!
5. Expect bumps in the road.
You’re probably going to get a cold. You’re kids will get the stomach bug. You’ll have issues with your house or car that may prevent you from going for that walk or getting your workouts in. Life’s going to throw you some curve balls. You are GOING TO HAVE setbacks. That doesn’t mean your resolutions aren’t worth it or you should just give up….especially because chances are great that your resolution is in fact something you want. And when it comes to reaching our goals, regardless of what they are, it’s never ever going to be smooth sailing.
6. Get some support
When you hit those bumps in the road, it’s helpful to have people there to support you, encourage you and to change your perspective. We all focus way too much on what we didn’t do or what we should’ve done. Your support system can help you focus on all the small wins you’ve gathered. Your support system can remind you of why you started when all you want to do is give up. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own heads. Our thinking about our situation is usually the issue. Your support system can bring you back to reality and change your focus. I know that is what I try to do for my coaching clients 🙂
Speaking of support….I wanted to let you guys know that for the 3rd year in a row I’ll be offering my 15 Day Challenge coaching program that will begin on Monday January 2nd.
As a coach (and a human) I know that a lot of people need frameworks and guidelines to work off of when they are trying to create healthy changes in their lives.
Let’s face it, 15 days is a drop in the bucket when it comes to long-term health, but it IS enough time to refocus on your choices and how certain foods make you feel.
This challenge isn’t about giving up your favorite things or crash dieting for 2 weeks to only go off and find yourself face first in a plate of nachos. I actually *encourage* you to have wine, cake, cheese and crackers – or whatever else you love! Because, this is real life. Telling you to not have wine or cookies or whatever “your thing” is for two weeks isn’t really going to help you when the two weeks is up.
What you can expect to happen in 15 days?
You will have a much better understanding of how to balance your hormones through the food you eat and the exercise you do. You will learn the best ways to manage cravings and hunger without feeling the need to rely on counting calories or macros. You will learn how to balance eating at restaurants and navigating social events without feeling the need to “start over” every Monday. You’ll recognize how getting MOST of the crap out of your diet (all relative by the way – we’ll all be starting at different points on the “clean eating” spectrum) makes you feel, both physically and mentally.
Just last week I asked some of the women in my coaching group to tell me what they took away or learned from their 15 Day Challenge experiences, and here is what they had to say:
If this sounds like something you’d like to try, Sign up here to get your name on the VIP list where you’ll get first dibs on spots in the coaching group as well as some serious savings!
In the meantime, give some thoughts to the tips I went over above as you go about setting your 2017 resolutions!