5 unique strategies for keeping your resolutions
Another year over and a new one has just begun. After the December festivities (and the excesses that come along with it), many of us resolve to take control and make changes in the new year. However, those famous new year’s resolutions rarely last more than a couple of months. Well then, what to do if we truly want to succeed with our new year’s resolutions? Here are 5 uncommon strategies that can help you beat those odds.
A two-hour personal introspective and self-assessment of the past year
Go to a coffee shop, have the family spend some time outside the house, draw yourself a bath : whatever method you use, it is essential that you take some quiet time to reflect on the past year. Without self-reflection, you will not know what areas to improve on. With pen and paper in hand, write down a summary of the past year. Ask yourself : How have you grown? What were your achievements? Your challenges? Did you experience failure, and if so, what did you learn? What can you learn from the past year that will help you in the future?
Once you have an overall picture of the past year, set one or two objectives. Write them down and read them out loud. The spoken word bridges the gap between the thought in your head and the world of reality. You will feel a sense of responsability towards your objective and it will be that much more difficult to ignore.
Use social media to launch a search for a buddy
You would like to work out on a regular basis? Or better plan your meals in order to avoid restaurants and fast foods? A buddy with a common objective is a precious ally! Not only will a buddy lend support week in week out, but you will also feel responsible for each other. When one lacks motivation, the other is there with a gentle nudge.
Also, when you schedule meetings for your common activitiy, you create an obligation towards the other person. Nothing better to build a routine!
Invest in a mentor
If you feel that having a buddy is simply not enough, and if you can afford it, the guidance of a mentor is ideal. A mentor or coach is there for one specific reason, to assist you in reaching your objectives. If your objective is to overcome anxiety or depression, a psychologist or therapist would be the best coach. If weight loss or muscle gain is your objective, a nutritionist and a personal trainer would be the best allies. Not only will they guide you through the ups and downs, but you will also have someone to answer to. Your desire to please will work to your advantage!
Out with the old, in with the new
This means the purging of unwanted reminders and making room for a new reality to take shape. House cleaning is in order! This means : doing away with clothes that simply don’t fit, the bags of munchies in your cupboard, those old spices and herbs that have lost their flavour, that pair of beat-up running shoes that hurt your feet. With a clean slate and an open mind you will be ready for new ideas, new changes and a new routine.
Congratulate yourself, even when you don’t succeed
Get rid of guilt! Let’s say that you intended to work out 3 times a week and it has been 2 weeks since you’ve set foot in the gym. If you feel guilty and regard this inaction as a sign of incompetence, you risk never setting foot in the gym again (« too bad, it never worked and it will never work »). Quite the opposite, you must regard every effort as a victory. Making lifestyle changes is not an easy thing : accept challenges and setbacks as par for the course. Perhaps you didn’t go to the gym as often as you would have liked, but you did manage to get 8 hours of restorative sleep and you no longer have the urge to snack late at night. That’s a win!
Take a moment each week (or each day) to write down all the things you are proud of, big or small. By focusing on your accomplishments, you feel empowered and you cultivate a sense of self-confidence that will motivate you to pursue your goals !
What about you? What are your objectives for 2018 and how do plan on reaching them?