As the New Year rolls around, there is always an overwhelming desire for new beginnings. “New Year New Me” posts flood social media dashboards while gym memberships skyrocket. Often times, however, this wave of new energy doesn’t seem to last as February approaches. How can we create New Year’s resolutions that we’ll actually stick to?
The best way to make resolutions that’ll last is by making them realistic and practical. The process of implementing new habits needs to be just as long-lasting as the habit itself. Start small and work your way up! Here are some simple changes that you can begin to make to get you started:
- Forming an exercise habit: Rather than beginning a full workout regimen from the start, choose one fitness priority, whether it be strength, flexibility, weight loss, or cardio. After choosing your top priority, choose one exercise to do two times a week for 30 minutes that focuses on that specific priority. Write it down to set the intention!
- Boosting your mindfulness and creativity: Before getting out of bed, take a couple of minutes every morning to write in a journal. Write absolutely anything you want and let the words flow out of you. Use your snooze alarm as a timer!
- Energizing and relaxing the mind and body: After getting out of bed, choose your favorite yoga pose and gently guide yourself into it. Hold it for five deep breaths. This will help you to get into a relaxed state of mind, easing you into the start of your day!
- Creating a fun lifestyle: Choose your favorite artistic hobby (ex. practicing guitar) and decide on a day and time each week that you’re free to do that activity for 30 minutes. Set a reminder so you don’t forget!
- Improving your health: Choose one food group or item, such as red meat or chips, that is not benefiting your health and begin to slowly wean it out of your diet. Start at the normal amount that you usually eat that food, and begin to reduce your consumption by one meal every week. Throughout this process, you should also begin to discover healthier alternatives to satisfy your craving. Explore new recipes and make it fun!
Tips to Help Them Stick:
- Create a New Year’s intention before coming up with a specific plan. An intention can be defined as your “why?” behind what you want to change. Having a reason for your New Year’s resolutions will strengthen them. Continuously go back to your “why” and make space to re-evaluate.
- Do things you actually like! If you approach things that you’re reluctant to do with a perfectionist mindset, the activities will not be enjoyable.
- Write things down on your calendar to keep track of what you want and keep yourself accountable. It’s easy to lose track of a change in routine, so set reminders and timers!
- Be flexible. Feel free to add more or take away from your goals. When you are rigid with yourself, habits are harder to maintain because they start to feel like a chore.
- Remember that all changes in habits are gradual! It can take months for a new routine or lifestyle change to set in. Patience is key.
- Finally, remember to be gentle with yourself! You are only human, and mistakes can happen. Don’t beat yourself up, just reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far and keep going!☺
by Monica Larrea