Wow. It is 2023 already? Where did the time go?
If you felt like the pandemic swallowed two years of your life… and this past year just breezed on by, you are not alone. As this new year keeps rolling in, many of us are pondering how to do better and be better this next time around. Dry January, anyone?
Hi! Enter “New Years Resolutions.”
Did you make them this year? How are they going??
If you are already frustrated by yours, read on. If not… Read on and offer up some of your expert advice!
Each new year, a hunk of us declare big new years resolutions— Whether that is joining the gym, kick-starting the new year with a cleanse, Dry January, cleaning out every closet and drawer in the house, committing to reading a new book every month, losing 10 pounds, quitting smoking, alcohol, reality television, cutting out carbs, “Going Keto,” being extra friendly to the crazy neighbor next door, volunteering, scheduling more “Me Time”, etc.
Sound familiar? If not, I am guessing you have at least been there at some point, no?
The problem is we are addicted to “starting” but often fail to follow through after the high of planning our new beginning wears off.Read this blog.
This year I was out of town for New Years and I knew it was going to leave me feeling off kilter– but even more so if I made big resolutions and failed to follow through. The truth is, I stopped making big resolutions a few years ago and switched gears after reading “Atomic Habits“, by James Clear. (I highly suggest it).
Instead of new years resolutions, set your intentions.
Where do you want to be in a month, two months… six?
Make a list of the areas in your life you would like to see improved, circle the priorities, then make a list of tiny actionable items you can start doing today.
For example, say you have a plan to lose 10 pounds. If you are someone that has not had the time, or the motivation to go to the gym, instead of declaring that the New You will be hitting up the gym daily, starting tomorrow, or next week, start with something smaller, like drinking 15oz of pure drinking water upon waking and walking X amount of steps per day.
It is always amazing to me to learn that my clients consider unsweet tea, coffee, or sparkling beverages as a replacement for pure drinking water. It is not. Make it exceptionally easy for yourself by placing a bottle, or glass of water, next to the first thing you do in the morning (Ex: Like brush your teeth, take out the dog, or feed the baby).
P.S. Here is an article about how much water you should be drinking and another article about the quality of the water you are drinking.
Next up, pair your new goal with something that feels rewarding, or indulgent. For instance, say your goal is to cut back on reality tv and instead hit the gym. How about combining the two and enjoying said “bad habit” with the goal you are trying to achieve. Since one is already a habit, use it to your advantage. If you know you will feel less inclined to get into your car and physically drive yourself to the gym, invest in some basic equipment at home. You can get a portable elliptical (or a trampoline) for under $150 in most cases from Amazon. Hallelujah— tv and a gym at home and no excuses. This is the elliptical I have from amazon. BTW– Jumping on a rebounder for just 15 minutes a day can help with lymphatic drainage, read more here.
Are you interested in reading more? Make a list of 12 books you have been eyeing and set a google reminder in your calendar each month to dive in. Set an alarm every day (at the same time) in your phone to take 10-15 minutes and read— not an hour. Maybe it is after lunch… maybe it is as you sit in the car and wait for your kids to come out of school. You decide. But decide.
Consistency is more powerful than quantity.
If you are looking to schedule “Me Time” but have a career and kids, or a demanding social calendar, spouse, etc. —Pick one day a month, hire a sitter and indulge. Make it a ritual. As a nutritionist, I work with many women and young mothers that do not prioritize their own needs, remaining frustrated when their health and body suffers.
Schedule “Me Time” as if it is an investment, or a business meeting. Let everyone know this is what you are doing and not to interrupt unless it is an emergency. If your spouse, or partner, will have to watch the kids, make sure to give them ample time. I send my husband a calendar invite for all of my commitments to ensure he knows I will not be available.
Next up, going from the holidays to a full-blown “any type of new and restrictive diet” does not work for most humans. Instead of swearing off all pizza, make a deal with yourself that for every meal you deem “indulgent” –> you will also eat a big bowl of roasted broccoli, or salad.
If you know your schedule is hectic and you are likely to come home starving and eat your children’s remaining chicken tenders, having prepared food in the fridge, a can of soup in the pantry, or UberEats to arrive the moment you do is a must. No excuses.
We often focus so much on what we do not like about ourselves, or our current situation, that we forget to enjoy life at all. Instead of setting out to find joy, practice BEING joy. Smile at strangers. Chat with the grocery clerk, turn on a comedy station on Spotify, have your smart device automatically play some feel good tunes when you wake, or at the time you are expected to arrive home. We are often waiting to reach our goals before we enjoy life.
This year my new years resolution for everyone is that we start with something small and watch it grow.
Dream big. Like… really big.
But how about we just Start the damn thing.
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