Starting a new year is exciting and can often seem like a breath of fresh air. To mark the start of the new year it is a typical tradition to set resolutions, in hope of bettering ourselves and turning our goals into reality. Speaking from personal experiences. Those stereotypical resolutions such as sticking to that crazy juicing diet, exercising more, quitting smoking, eating healthier the list goes on. It is evidently desirable to live a healthy, active, and rewarding lifestyle but unfortunately, these positive changes we decide to implement into our lives don’t tend to stick around for very long. Have you ever wondered why? More often than not we set unattainable goals for ourselves. Getting carried away with the idea that we have a chance to “start fresh” and that we should become these completely new and better versions of ourselves is normal. However, this way of thinking usually leads to the fabrication of unrealistic standards. No wonder we give up around week two.
Having a reasonable and healthy approach towards our goals will make them more likely to become reality. It is important to take into account is that we should accept ourselves before we begin to change ourselves. The desire to make a positive change should come from personal interest and motivation not to satisfy and impress others around you.
So you are ready to make those positive changes with a sustainable approach? To start off one should write down the goals and be very specific as to what change they would like to see and make. For example, instead of writing lose 5lbs, write down your healthy food plan for the week, do research on easy food recipes and make a schedule so you can make time in your busy life to exercise and get your body moving. Physically writing down your goals and sharing them with family members and friends allows you to hold yourself accountable at a more serious level.
Integrating your positive change into your life can be difficult at first and it can be tempting to enthusiastically stick to that new routine for a day or two and then slowly beginning to slack and become lazy. Becoming passive and eventually leading us to give up on our goals without even realizing it. Making excuses and not fully committing holds you back. When you begin to realize that you are heading to the gym once a week instead of those three days that you promised yourself you are holding yourself back from succeeding. Simply thinking of your new habit as a part of your daily life instead of a temporary solution to your “problem” allows your brain to register that this new habit is permanent and here to stay.
Moreover, it is important to not expect instant gratification, amazing personal progress does not happen overnight. Being hard on ourselves creates frustration and stress hence creating a barrier between you and your goal. It is okay to have some fallbacks and maybe not achieve our goals as quickly as we would like to. Make sure to track your progress and celebrate every stepping stone you experience. To turn a new activity in your life into a permanent habit it takes time patience and persistence. Instant gratification is so easily accessible nowadays within society. With resources such as social media, Netflix, fast delivery (ubereats®, deliveroo®) of unhealthy foods that immediately raise our endorphin levels etc. It is easy to get our hands onto something that will instantly make us feel “happy” and at ease. However, all of these things mentioned only give us temporary satisfaction. A permanent positive change in your life is much more rewarding in the long run.
Get excited about your new goals and remember that you can make a positive change in your life at any point in the year not only on January 1st.