2017 New Year’s Resolutions – Let’s Try That Again
Posted On Feb 20, 2017
“5, 4, 3, 2, 1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!” With the cheers, kisses, and grapes come the resolutions. Adopting healthier habits, squeezing more out of life, and saving coins are amongst the top goals we try to optimistically convince ourselves we will accomplish at the drop of the ball. Week 1, week 2, and maybe even week 3 are great, gym classes are brimming with busy bodies and bank accounts are booming. But what happens when February rolls around…? Before you know it, you might find yourself sitting on the couch with a $50 box of Godiva chocolates you got for $5 at an after-Valentine’s-Day sale. At least you kept your money-saving resolutions? Wrong. All is not lost though, your New Year’s resolutions are still within reach. Here are the tools you can use to tackle 2017 – again.
Do Some Serious Soul Searching
Sure, who wouldn’t want to shed a few lbs. or advance in their career? Most of us are guilty of crafting these lofty goals in a brief moment of ambitiously charged daydreaming. When they don’t pan out, we’re left with nothing but blame and disappointment, which we quickly point back at ourselves. It’s self-sabotage at its finest. But why did we set these goals in the first place? Most likely there is a deeper reason we want to quit smoking, rev up our social life, or search for love.
By reflecting on our innermost thoughts and needs, we can examine why we’ve placed these objectives at the forefront and possibly unlock a better way to achieve what we really want. Did you have a parent pass away from a heart condition? Could that be the reason behind wanting to stop smoking so that you’re around longer for your own children? If weight loss is on your list, ask yourself if that’s really going to make you happy or if feeling better in your own skin is your heart’s true desire. You can just as easily exercise a more positive mind frame rather than exhausting yourself on a treadmill. Getting to the root of your goals, you may just find where your real happiness could actually be.
Seek the Discomfort
“You’re comfortable at home, you’re comfortable at your desk, you don’t come to the gym to be comfortable,” Dulcie – no nonsense, yet extraordinarily motivating spin instructor – pointed out to the room full of weary cyclists looking for a burn. With an unimaginable amount of hard-earned sweat pouring down our faces, this one phrase resonated with each and every determined rider in that inhumanely-hot spinning class. She insisted we go for the pain, the push, the discomfort – it was the only way. Crazy huh? Not completely.
Our comfort zone can be a safe, familiar place – but it’s the same place that keeps us complacent. A study done by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson back in 1908, explains that essentially comfort creates a steady level of performance. In order to improve physically or even mentally, your body needs a surge of energy to push you out of that steady state and into a higher, faster, more productive mode, a place called optimal anxiety as described by Lifehacker. With just enough push and stress (not too much or you’ll go over the edge!), you can be more productive, have a better handle on unexpected changes, and more easily harness your creativity. In a sense, that extreme trainer pushing you to the max and that boss who stretches out every last minute of your day are the discomforts you can use to your advantage – you just have to let them.
Stop Relying on Willpower
“I just won’t eat sweets anymore.” “I’ll skip my next smoke break.” We’ve all done it – began the journey toward achieving a New Year’s resolution with the best of intentions and a hefty amount of willpower. Once that dessert menu hits the table, all bets are off. Willpower who? While willpower is great to have, there will come a time when it wears thin. You need to have other, more reliable tools in your arsenal. Over time, you can learn to strengthen your willpower and shake off temptations of all kinds. According to the American Psychological Association, willpower can be exercised using practiced techniques.
Focus on One
By focusing on a single goal as opposed to various goals, you are better able to stay on track and achieve your end result. Too many or unclear objectives can divide your attention and keep you from putting the full force of your efforts into anything.
Monitoring your efforts can keep you accountable during setbacks and can be used for learning how to move forward. Oppositely, positive achievements along your journey can help motivate you to continue to see more improvements.
No one said you had to do it alone. Surrounding yourself with supportive, positive, and motivating friends, family, or support group members can mean the difference between failing alone and succeeding with the help of others.
Keep on Keepin’ On
Just because it’s now February and your resolution motivation meter reads low, doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel until December. There’s still time. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and make the most of 2017!