Resolutions have a bad reputation.
I don’t know what the statistically accurate rate of failure is for the New Year’s resolutions is (honestly, I don’t think anyone does), but the general consensus seems to be that resolutions are destined to fail. So why bother??
Many of us think of resolutions in terms of big, sweeping changes. As in…
“Starting January 1 I will”:
“Eliminate all sugar, dairy, and gluten from my diet”
“Be on the treadmill every morning at 5 a.m. Monday through Friday.”
“Not miss a single one of Jimmy’s soccer games this year”
No wonder people fail! With this approach you are always one meal, one morning, or one game away from failure…so much pressure.
And once you've blown it, you've blown it.
How about being a little nicer to yourself?
A kinder, gentler, and more flexible approach is actually much more likely to STICK.
Thinking in terms of *themes* can be really helpful. Using the above examples you might decide that your themes are:
Make healthier choices in your diet
Incorporate more activity into your day
Make family time a priority
How do you measure such broad, non-specific intentions?
One of my favorite ways is simply to track the choices you make that support these intentions. You can easily do this on your phone or in a journal.
The idea is to “catch yourself” making good choices and acknowledge those choices.
This shifts your focus to the things you are doing well and encourages you to do more of them.
Simply take a little time each day and ask yourself “what did I do to move myself toward my goals today?” Maybe you substituted roasted vegetables for pasta at lunch, took the stairs at work, or spent 20 minutes patiently helping Jimmy with his math homework. You don’t have to make progress in all areas each day and every little bit adds up.
This is good news (!) as small modifications over time can create BIG changes if practiced consistently. Allow your goals to work for you and not against you.