Let’s just put it out there right now…This year I am NOT going to lose weight, work out more, eat less sugar, spend fewer hours on social media, or do the million other things people “resolve” to do on January 1st, and then abandon by February…or January 2nd.
In my thirty (ahem) something years, I have found that sticking to New Year’s resolutions simply doesn’t work. Bad habits are nearly impossible to kill and good habits take forever to cement. It’s not that I don’t want to be a better person, or make good and healthy choices. Of course I dream, and aspire to set life goals and accomplishments for our family to achieve, as well. But I also know myself (and frankly, human nature) well enough to understand that creating hard and fast resolutions or quitting things cold turkey is not sustainable.
Perhaps for you, New Year’s Resolutions do work. Maybe you are more determined than me, and once you set your mind to something, you accomplish it. If so, that is awesome and you have my utmost admiration. Or maybe you’re full of crap and in the same boat as me.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attempt ANY self-improvement. So, enter the anti-resolution. Instead of striving for grandiose changes or lofty feats of accomplishment that are supposed to begin on a specific day, why not start out a little slower?
You want to lose weight? Don’t make a New Year‘s resolution to lose twenty pounds, rather try gradually changing your daily habits; get more sleep, exercise a few times a week, limit your portion sizes and don’t eat/snack after dinner time. Is your resolution to unplug more? Remove apps from your phone, cancel your cable or Netflix subscriptions, or try shutting down your computers every day, and when you go out, leave your mobile devices at home.
Statistics tell us that change is more likely to occur if we use baby steps and slowly wean ourselves into our goals, rather than opting for a hard and fast, overnight transformation. This new year I challenge you to put aside the large, unrealistic resolutions, and instead, spend some time thinking and dreaming about how you see 2016, or even the next five or ten years unfolding. Jot down your hopes and desires, and then write out the tiny steps it will take to get there…over time. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it will be to accomplish them if you give yourself a road map!
What are your New Year’s goals for this year, this decade, or this lifetime? And what are the tiny steps you can take each day, week, month, or year to get there?