New Year resolutions. I wanted to be kind, so I waited a month to bring up the subject. It stirs up different reactions, from disappointment to accomplishment. We laugh it off or bury the idea hoping no one asks. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, keep reading. I don’t want to get on your case.
Are you willing to take a look at yourself?
Do you need to rethink or recommit to your New Year resolution? That’s a question only you can answer. Was this year’s the same vow to change that you’ve had for the past 5 years? If so, it must be important to you. You really don’t want to forget it.
Here are some ideas to put your resolution in its place.
1. Give yourself some grace
I heard Joy, our afternoon DJ say this month: Give yourself a no-guilt pass. Agreed. Let’s start on the right foot.
Remember the board game Monopoly? Grab your own Get out of jail card. Don’t let guilt lock you up. That’s no help. Resolutions are to make us better, not defeat us. There’s plenty of that around us.
Free yourself from your “jail” and move forward in this year. You want it to be good. But just like being honest about guilt, be truthful with yourself about what you know you need to do and get yourself back on track.
2. Be realistic
This is where most of us meet failure in the face, and it’s not pretty. Our perennial problem is that we probably expect too much out of ourselves.
Remind yourself that you’re not going to achieve your goal in one day (don’t we wish?!). You’re also not going to match the skills or shape or endurance of someone who has been doing it for a year.
For sure, your New Year vow is going to require more of you, but don’t get carried away with your rush of new enthusiasm. Grab your favorite drink and go to a favorite place to take stock of your goal.
It’s important to know what kind of commitment your resolution is going to require. You are inserting something new (and maybe different) into your life. But do you already feel crammed, stressed, overloaded, overwhelmed? That’s not fun already, and we have to look forward to chipping away at the promise we’ve made to ourselves.
What is your typical day like? You only have twenty-four hours in each day just like everyone else. Don’t compare yourself to someone who looks like they’ve been at the gym every day or on a diet for years. They may not have as demanding of a job, or children or housework or shopping or laundry or the many errands and shuttle-stops you have. Just going through that list makes me tired. You may already be there.
But don’t throw your hands in the air and shout Impossible! Chances are that something is going to have to go in order to insert something new. That, too, is a tough decision. What do you need to cut back on (don’t say sleep!)? It’s a matter of priorities. You have to recognize that some things are just not as important as your new goal. Cut the gunk for the goal. You won’t regret it.
3. Don’t do it alone.
I tend to be a solitary guy.
Gym membership – 15 years … usually beating against the machines alone. Podcasts while I walk. Two things accomplished at the same time. A double bonus. It makes me feel super proud of myself.
But none of us is good at doing everything alone. God didn’t wire us that way. Life is a lot more fun when I’m with friends. And life is a lot more honest too.
I shared my 2021 resolution with my wife and doubled-up also with a good friend. Why? You could say that they will hold me accountable, but even more important, they want the best for me.
We don’t compete with friends; instead, friends encourage each other. And most of us need all of that we can get, no matter what we’re facing. Find that friend to check in on you or to take the journey with you.
4. Keep at it
Resolutions are about accomplishment, but focus on the day-to-day. Don’t think, I only have 330 more slim green shakes to drink this year. In fact, if you hate spinach, it’s amazing your goal (and you!) survived this long.
Go back to point #2 and find an alternative that fits you – your likes, your schedule, your lifestyle. And remember point #3. Ask friends for their suggestions.
You made the resolution because you knew it was good. Keep at it. You know you want to in your heart. And you will feel better because you did. Happy, fulfilling year this year!
We can tell you’re ready to win this year. How can we tell? You’re here, which makes you a go-getter!
Since you’re a high achiever/early bird/awesome, we want to help you win. This 21-Day Challenge will give you practical tips and consistent encouragement to keep going when the going gets tough.