It’s that time of year again – the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one! I’m actually quite ready to say goodbye to 2014 to be honest. Although I feel that I grew the most I ever have in my life this past year, 2014 was also by far the most trying, testing, and incredibly difficult year for me. Seriously. I understand that in life we will face trials and adversity – there’s no doubt about that – but through those, by the grace of God, we can, and do become stronger, so I’m happy to be heading into 2015 as a wiser, more compassionate, stronger Christal – here’s to a new chapter!
With New Years typically comes the usual resolutions. Some people like to go into the year with a ton of resolutions at hand, while others despise the thought of resolutions and think they are a waste of time and energy. Where do I stand? I used to be more skeptical, but now I actually think resolutions are a fantastic thing – when made in the right way. Resolutions get a bad rep, and the sole reason being that people just don’t stick with them. I believe that’s why in January I see hundreds of new faces at the gym, and by February 1st, they’re gone. Apparently only 8% of people actually achieve their New Years Resolutions (according to Forbes magazine), so it’s no wonder many people think “what’s the point?”. Well – I’ve come up with a list of my Resolution Do’s + Don’ts. A list I believe gets to the core of WHY people don’t stick with their resolutions, and WHAT TO DO to actually make them stick!
So… I’ll start with the DON’Ts first so we can end on a positive note – I always like ending on a positive! 🙂
D O N ‘ T …
// have an “all or nothing” attitude //
I’ve heard it a million times before…”I’m an all or nothing person” – ok, so you THINK you’re an all or nothing person because that’s the way you’ve trained your brain to think. Well, everyone can change, and you won’t succeed with your resolutions with an “A-O-N” attitude. We are human, and humans are bound to mess up, meaning you, are bound to mess up. Maybe you’ll skip a day or make a whoops on your resolutions at least once. So what?! Why does that have to stop you from continuing?? Let’s say your resolution is to cut down on sugar – or cut it out completely. If you have one slip up and eat a candy, that one little candy isn’t going to do anything big, BUT if you let that one little candy cause to you say “screw it” and have a candy binge… well, that will definitely have a bigger impact! With the all-or-nothing attitude, you’ll unfortunately let yourself down time and time again. Remember, mistakes are inevitable, and if you view them as a learning experience you’ll save yourself a whole lot of grief in the end!
// be unrealistic/extreme in your resolution making //
This one is pretty common sense. Let’s say you’ve never stepped foot inside a gym. Don’t make a resolution that you’ll workout 6 days a week at the gym starting January 1st. Maybe instead aim for twice a week for January, three times a week for February, four times a week for March, and so on. Let’s say you have 50 lbs to lose. Don’t say you’re resolution is to lose it in 3 months by doing a starvation diet. Aim for 1 lb a week loss! Be R E A L I S T I C. A resolution doesn’t mean it has to be this grand amazing feat of a goal – it can be simple, small, and doable, and when you stick with your simple, small, doable goal – guess what? It WILL make a grand difference in the long run!
// do it alone //
Accountability is key. I can’t say that enough. Being accountable to yourself is one thing, but having a good friend, family member, or even online pal (or app) to help keep you accountable to your goals is a H U G E asset. Knowing you have someone else cheering you on, or even better yet, someone aiming to reach the same goals with you is huge motivation to stick with it! We are meant to live, work, be in community with each other, we really thrive that way – so reach out, find a pal, and make those resolutions with that extra helping hand.
// forget to be patient //
Remember, anything worth accomplishing, takes time, sometimes a lot of time, to accomplish. In this world of everything being at the tip of our fingers, we sometimes forget how reaching most goals is a time consuming process. Day, after day, after day of consistent chipping away at those goals is what works. For weight loss, getting healthier, quitting smoking, getting a degree, whatever it may be – you’ve got to put in the time. So every time you feel fed up, annoyed that things aren’t happening as quickly as you’d like, remember, Earl Nightingale said it best… “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
// go at it without a strategic plan //
Plan, plan, and plan some more. Don’t ever make a goal without a plan. If you want to get back to the gym consistently – HOW are you going to do it? How will you find the time? When will you go? What will you take with you? What will you do when you are there? How long will you workout for? Planning out these details will give you a way better chance of succeeding in your resolutions! Even if your resolution is something small and simple like dining out less, you’ll need to plan what you’ll do in the situations when you would usually dine out! Think about every aspect of your resolution and plan, plan, plan the details!
Ok – now that the don’ts are out of the way.. let’s look at the do’s!
D O …
// evaluate your priorities //
Being a nutritionist, and having worked in my practice for close to 5 years now, I’ve seen a lot of success, and unfortunately my fair share of flops. Here’s the difference, the key difference between the two. Those who put reaching their goal as one of their TOP priorities in life, up there with their kids, family, job, money (or whatever it may be that they value above all else), they will succeed. You can’t half-ass goals. You must full-ass them. 100%. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, but your goal/resolution needs to be more important than most things in your life if you really want to succeed. When you place reaching your goals or sticking to your resolutions at number 14 on your list of 100 priorities, you’ll slowly watch it fall to number 20, then 34, then 52, and before you know it, it won’t be a daily thought anymore. Your resolutions need to be, in my opinion, one of the TOP 5 priorities, and all decisions you make should revolve around whether it will help or hinder you reaching that priority! I know I sound intense, but I really want to get this point across!
// take ownership + responsibility for your starting point //
Hmm..here’s another kind of uncomfortable one, but it needs to be said. If you have a goal to improve yourself or your life (which is usually what all resolutions boil down to in one way or another), you have to accept where you are, and take responsibility for what got you to that point, then make a decision to take full ownership and responsibility in moving onward and upward. Placing the blame on others, or on things you cannot control, and being a victim of your circumstances keeps you stagnant. When you instead say “ok, here is where I am, I accept that, I will own that, and I am responsible for all my decisions from this point forward” you break the stagnancy and can look at your resolutions from a positive perspective knowing that you have full control and responsibility and success, and that can be an exciting thing!
// write your resolutions down //
Statistics show people who write down their resolutions have an over 80% higher success rate of achieving them! Enough said. Write those goals down at least once, or even better, on a weekly basis as an affirmation of your commitment to reaching them!
// create resolutions with self-love //
I believe this is the most important DO of them all. At the end of the day, it is incredibly important to sit down and really dig deep at your intentions behind your resolution making. Where are you coming from? Are you hoping to lose weight, quit smoking, get a better job or education, get fit, or eat healthier, only because you are upset with the way you look, feel, or of what others think of you? When you think of your resolution is it followed with a …“because I’m too this, or too that, or not this enough, or not that enough, or because I can’t do this, or can’t do that”? We tend to find motivation for change from a place of self-punishment or hatred as opposed to self-love. Unfortunately that kind of motivation is usually short-lived and ends in even more thoughts and feelings of defeat and inadequacy. Maybe you don’t necessarily “love yourself” … just yet, but that too can change by learning to see yourself, just as you are, as an amazing, irreplaceable, gift to this earth and all those around you. Instead, if you decide you want to lose weight, quit smoking, get a better job or education, get fit, or eat healthier, because you love yourself, want to nourish and care for your one-and-only self, and see what you are truly capable of come to pass, you, will make an immeasurable difference in achieving the goals you set for yourself! For you, yes you – are fearfully and wonderfully made, and letting that fact be the foundation of the intentions behind your resolutions is of utmost importance.
So GO! my friends, and make those resolutions! Let’s all embark together on 2015 with a fresh outlook and an army of do + don’t strategies under us to propel us forward to success!
Have a very Happy New Year and stay tuned for this delicious detox recipe coming your way next on the blog!
Nutritionist in the Kitch