New Year New You?
I don’t know about anybody else, but I find the idea of New Year’s resolutions really just a guaranteed way to disappoint and frustrate yourself. Yourself! literally self-inflicted guilt and shame. I’m a planner and I love the idea of setting up a game plan or making appointments to ensure things get done- but a “resolution” really is based on the idea that you are resolving to do something or change something that up to this point you haven’t managed to do- and therefore somehow with the turning of the calendar page this is ALL going to change, and you will become more motivated, more disciplined, more anything (or less if we are talking about eating less cheese and chocolate). So how does real change happen? I have some thoughts.
I personally struggle with perfectionistic tendencies- I’m of the mindset since I didn’t get it done 100% or completed something that produced the unrealistic picture perfect image I’ve created in my mind’s eye, well then I didn’t really get it done then did I? If I were to flip the conversation I’m having in my mind to “Look at me getting in my 45 minutes of cardio today, which is more than I was able to get done yesterday and is helping me towards my goal of working out 4-5 days per week, that’s a win”. I have in the past seen that as settling = failing. Followed by a silent verbal lashing and a whole new level of shame and disappointment. So step 1- small steps still equal steps and movement. Grow from there. Be kind to yourself- show some grace.
Next, I am a big believer in accountability and finding someone else working towards a goal- if you share what you are working towards and that inevitable day comes when you are lacking motivation- knowing you may be standing up someone else at the gym, on the trail, in that pilates class, or for your weekly nutrition check in that might be all it takes to get you out the door. A swift kick in the ass from a particularly brash and fantastically blunt friend doesn’t hurt!
Finally, if it’s something you really believe needs to change, create sacred time. Time that is not negotiable, is set in stone as much as brushing your teeth or showering, you wouldn’t skip those things, so make your goals as important as that.
In the end, it doesn’t have to be a New Year’s Resolution, but a commitment to long term every day change, and imagine it as your new normal- it’s just what you do.