How's your 2016 so far?
If you resolved to be new and improved this year join the ranks.
It’s uplifting and inspiring to be a New Year's resolution maker. Hope abounds. Why is it then by mid January a lot of good intentions are…well…lost? Why is it some people have stick-to-it-ness and others not? What is it about them? What do they do the rest of us don’t? I did some digging because this year I really want my intentions to stick. Here’s what I found.
- 21 days - Experts say creating new habits takes a minimum of 21 days of focused, concentrated effort. Be dedicated and consistent. That means doing it every day no matter what. No time off. Solid effort.
- Give gold stars - Create a schedule or calendar for the resolution and check off each day as completed. There’s nothing more encouraging than seeing progress! I’ve gone for the full deal and bought a box of gold stars. I feel like a kid seeing my stars all lined up.
- One at a time – People who successfully keep resolutions concentrate on only ONE at a time. After one is incorporated they will take on another. I’m up for a yearlong project.
- Find support – If your goal is to lose weight (the most common New Year’s resolution) is there a fitness or nutrition ‘challenge’ at a local gym you could participate in? There are also online challenges and lots of apps that provide support and track progress. I have 2 friends who are aiming to kick start a year of healthy eating and increased energy. They’ve mutually agreed to adopt the Paleo Diet. Together they’ve researched the program, shared info and are acting as daily accountability buddies. So far so good.
- Break resolution into steps and celebrate each one - If for example, beginning an exercise program and getting into top shape is your resolution there will be many successes along the way. First you’ll feel good about yourself, then you’ll have more energy, after that you will see start seeing changes in your body, the body will reshape completely, and ultimately you may start running 10k’s or stepping it up in some other way. Celebrate all stages of the journey to maintain momentum.
- Make FUN a goal – Maybe your resolution is to make better use of your time so instead of couch potato-ing, facebooking, TV watching or other time gobbling/minimal payoff activity – get out of the house and become more social…. get together with friends for dinner once a month or take a course with a friend. Try diving into a hobby where you see results quickly and can share them with friends (i.e. art, knitting, cooking). I have a friend who started making felted soap and is now so enthusiastic she’s hosting fun, how-to evenings and is talking about starting a business. Doing things just because they're fun can lead to more-than-imagined outcomes.
- Expect obstacles – There will be things that get in the way of your resolution. Anticipate what they might be and plan for them in advance. That way it’s merely a hiccup and you’re not knocked off your axis and plunged into despair. Besides the momentum you’ve built will help find a path under, over or through said obstacle.
- Setbacks happen to the best resolution makers – Before you blame, criticize and beat yourself up understand setbacks happens to the best of resolvers! Instead ask self, “What can I do differently? How can this be used as an opportunity?” Then get back to work and keep it up!
- Announce it! Telling people and making resolutions public sets up the resolver for success. People will want to know how it’s going. What will you tell these ‘accountability partners’?
- EMBRACE the symbolism of the season…it’s the opportunity to become all you can be. Refresh, restart, renew.
Blog contributor: Cheryl Wilson-Stewart created the Red Shoe Zone to inspire women 50+ to live fearlessly in Life. www.redshoezone.ca
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