The Easiest Way to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
December is a magical month. Not only do things tend to slow down at the office, but there are also gorgeous lights and delicious smelling pine trees that start popping up everywhere. The city literally starts to twinkle with holiday cheer and anticipation.
But there is something else magical about the last month of the year. Along with gingerbread cookies and presents, December also brings a palpable feeling of hopefulness. We can finally see the new year coming around the corner, and with it brings a feeling of a fresh start, a new opportunity to commitment to goals, and a chance to refocus our priorities.
It’s exciting and in some years very welcome. Life is rarely roses and rainbows all the time, and the turning of a calendar year often represents the closing of a chapter (for better or worse) and the starting of a new one. We get a clean slate.
So how can you make the most of it? What is the best way to actually stick to your resolutions?
The easiest way to stick to any new year’s resolution, is to start working on it before the new year.
January 1st is just another day. You do not need to arbitrarily wait for the end of the year to start up again, or to start at all. Train your brain not to rely on the momentum of the new year (because it only happens once every 365 days!).
If you wanted to lose weight this year but gained some instead, that’s ok, start tonight. Pile on some extra veggies at dinner. Wake up 15 minutes early tomorrow and go for a walk before work. We tend to underestimate the compound effect of small actions over time.
Goals, at least the worthwhile scary ones, are not achieved in a 30-day challenge. They are achieved through consistent (note: not perfect!) action and re-commitment along the way. The best way to slowly start chipping away at a better you in the new year is to start today!
Take a few minutes before bed tonight and write out some of your goals for the coming year. Don’t worry about the format, just get your thoughts on paper (you can even burn it later if you want). Keep these important guidelines in mind:
Don’t censor yourself. Write down both long-term and short-term goals, no matter how unattainable they may feel right now.
Map it backwards. We often fall short because we only focus on how big and hard the end goal feels. If you want to run a marathon, start with running a mile.
Don’t expect perfection. Life will always find a way to derail our plans. Give yourself some grace and find the joy in the journey.
You got this!
What resolutions can you just start today?