Have you been added to that extremely vast group of people who gave up on their New Year’s Resolutions already? Well, it’s never too late to start again!
But before you begin on the same path again, let’s take a look at some reasons why your resolutions might not be working for you and what you can do to help yourself succeed with those resolutions.
When I taught Pilates at a local club, all the “regulars” would either change their schedule or stay away for the first couple months of the year because all the new year’s resolution groupies would be out in full force. But only a few of the newbies remained after the initial burst at the beginning of the year.
So why do so many people give up?
Well for one, you really can’t expect to make lasting changes in your life overnight. Unfortunately, there is no fairy waving a magic wand over you and BAM, you’ve changed! If your meals consist of fast food and you are a couch potato, you can’t expect to trade that in overnight for going to the gym and eating salads. It probably just isn’t going to happen. But with some thoughtful and realistic planning, you just might succeed!
Whatever you want to change needs to become a habit. And to form a habit it can take anywhere from 21, 60, 90 days or more. You have to rewire yourself by repeating the new behavior over and over.
Maybe you resolved to get up a half hour earlier every day to meditate. That’s a pretty ambitious goal – especially if you have never meditated before. You probably will just fall back asleep! So start with baby steps. Sit quietly for 3 minutes to start (and sitting quietly is a form of meditation). Then as you become adjusted to that, start to increase the time but do it in increments.
Everyone wants instant results. If you haven’t lost 5 pounds in the first week, you give up. But it’s actually more about the process than the results. How are you going to change your eating habits to lose this weight? Maybe instead of bread holding your sandwich together, you use romaine or leaf lettuce.
Try to keep your resolutions simple and specific. “I will go for a 10 minute walk after every meal.” There you have 30 minutes of exercise each day. If you have a dog it’s a win-win for both of you!
Having an accountability buddy is another helpful tactic. Maybe he or she will even join you in doing a specific resolution. Or at least hold you accountable for having water instead of a soda!
You also need to give yourself room for failure. I know this sounds a bit negative but it’s a fact. There will be set backs and you need to be aware of that. But pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to business.
And don’t forget to reward yourself! Now that doesn’t mean having a double caramel latte if you exercised every day for a week. Buy yourself some flowers, take a scented bubble bath, go to the movies, do something just for you. You worked hard and deserve the recognition.
Visualize how you will feel after you have accomplished your resolutions and you’ll be amazed at the results!
In Peace and Good Health,
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