Putting the "Resolute" in Resolution

I know it seems like an odd time of year to mention this, but maybe it’s a good time to bring up New Year’s Resolutions.

Just months ago, you were gung-ho. You were going to lose weight, eat less, and exercise more. You were going to reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a long time. You were going to be kinder, more joyful, or more patient. You were going to find time for yourself. You were going to quit that habit. You were going to start that new thing.

How’s it going?

Be honest. How is it going?

Are you following through? Or did you fail yourself again?

It’s ok. I get it.

Life happens. Things come up. You forget. You get busy.

It’s faster to turn on the tv than to find a good book. The treadmill becomes the place to dry clothes. The snooze button gets more of a workout than you do. The cookies beckon you like Jumanji drums. I get it.

Change is hard. Maintaining change is harder.

But here’s your dose of common sense this week:

if you don’t change, you won’t change.

And now, just because we are a few months into the year, and you’ve fallen off the horse, doesn’t mean it’s too late to get back on.

When it comes to change, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Skip the shame. Tell me, when you’ve taken a wrong turn, how does continuing to drive in the wrong direction ever get you to where you want to go? It doesn’t. All too often you follow up a fall off the horse with self-criticism, self-hate, shame, despair, and pity-parties. You will never shame yourself into being a better person. It just doesn’t happen. So instead of beating yourself up, practice some self-compassion.

Set yourself up for success. Honestly, you’ve failed yourself too many times. And now you don’t even trust yourself. Chances are, you know this and so you’re setting bigger and bigger goals to bust yourself out of this rut. Stop. Set smaller goals. Give yourself a win. Don’t say you’ll exercise 1 hour a day, 7 days a week. Instead say you’ll do 15 minutes, 2 days a week. Set doable goals that stretch you, but feel good. Pretty soon, you’ll be trusting yourself again with bigger goals.

Choose something that matters. Maybe it’s hard to change because you made the wrong goal. Is your goal to eat less, or eat more nutritious food? Is it to lose weight, or love your body? Is it to stop a bad habit, or heal the wound you’re trying to cover up? Is it more vacations, or more quality time? Make a goal that matters to you and the people you love, not one you think you should have, or that you saw on Instagram, or that someone told you would be good for you.

Don’t change. Instead of the idea of change, becoming a new person, cutting something out or adding something on, maybe consider your goal as an area of growth. Growth is organic. It’s slow but sure, toward the light. So maybe you don’t have to change at all. Maybe you just have to grow into being a better version of yourself.

Where do you need to re-commit?

Do you need to make new goals?

What goals are you going to grow towards?

Here’s to Conquering Stress,

The Stress Experts

Practical Strategies to Deal With Daily Stressors

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