Many people knock new resolutions but they really can make a significant impact on our lives. The first one I ever set was in college and it was to consistently work out a few times a week. There were some bumps in the road but I have stuck with it ever since and I firmly believe it's one of the reasons I am where I am today. Since that resolution 8 years ago I have learned a few lessons on how to set a New Year’s resolution that lasts so here they are... Number 3 might surprise you!
1.Start small- the key to lasting change is baby steps. Take something as simple as cooking one extra meal a week at home, master it and then you’ll feel comfortable to move on to your next goal. When we push ourselves too hard, too fast we become overwhelmed and we find it easier to give up. Take your bigger goal and break it down into smaller steps, master one then move onto the next.
2. Don’t be too strict on time frames- Setting strict time frames just creates heightened stress, putting unnecessary pressure on you to achieve your goals. Plus an increase in stress releases a large cortisol response in our body which negatively impacts your health causing weight gain, disturbed sleep, and cravings. Setting looser time frames on your goals helps you stay on track without the pressure of hitting a specific time point. Plus you can always adjust them as needed, you have 365 days!
3.Don’t make weight loss your goal- This is typically the number one goal most people set every year and while I’d agree that many people can stand to lose a few pounds for health reasons, making that your primary goal is not the best idea. I have a couple reasons behind this one so hear me out...
The first reason is your body will know what weight it’s comfortable at and sometimes fighting it creates negative health consequences, enter things like hormone imbalances, inflammation, digestive, sleepissues. Instead start by creating more sustainable goals such as focusing on how foods and activities make you feel, eating healthier, working out a few times a week, or taking more time to relax. All of these help contribute to a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle where weight loss is often a side effect.
My second is we are so much more than how we look. It’s important to focus on how how we treat others and sometimes I think more importantly, how we treat ourselves. From experience it doesn’t matter if you have hit your goal weight or body composition if you can’t accept and love yourself for who you are. When this aspect of self love is missing you’ll always be chasing something better, an idyllic life, or a ‘I’ll be happy when’ moment. You become uninterested in truly appreciating the entire journey and I think the journey is the most important piece. Because without the lessons and growth along the journey, it’s near impossible to enjoy the end product, and that’s the thing with a healthy lifestyle, there is no end product. It’s a continuous discovery of what works for you and what makes you feel healthy and happy.
What are some of your resolutions for 2017? Or even better what are some things you learned from previous resolutions?!Share in the comments below and best of luck in achieving and exceeding your goals in the New Year!