Resets are a wonderful opportunity for personal growth and change. I usually reevaluate my goals and priorities many times during the year, but I love January because it represents a new beginning. A new year, regardless of what calendar you use, is a universal time to reflect, reconsider, and reboot.
So now that you have your New Year’s resolutions what now? Statistically, very few people make it past January with their resolutions still in mind. How do you make it stick, so that by December 31st you see movement in the right direction? These are my tips for reaching your New Year’s goals.
1. Write your resolutions down in a journal, your calendar, smartphone or other place where you won’t loose them and will be able to refer back to them easily.
2. Break goals into small mini goals. The mini goals make your resolutions more attainable by breaking them into a reasonable timetable, a measurable element, or steps which will get you there. For example, one of my goals is to do the more challenging option for the abdominal exercises in my Bar Method classes. Usually there are two to four sets of these in each class. The harder options require lifting one or both legs while keeping your abs contracted. I broke this into a daily goal and quarterly goals. My daily goal is to at least try the position for as long as I can each time I take class. By March, my goal is to be able to do a full set, then by June to do half the abdominal work using the harder option, and from there work to three quarters by September and completion by December.
3. Accept failure. If you fail in living up to your goals, don’t give up!!! If you do, you have no chance for improvement. Last year one of my goals was never to feel heavy or more than satisfied after a meal—this translates into knowing when to put down the fork. I failed many times, but learned something each time I did. I learned that one more bite once I was satisfied for me translated into too much. Some days I was hungry and others not. I learned to honor my bodies internal hunger meter. If today half an omelet satisfied me even though yesterday I devoured the whole thing, it meant that for my body that day it only needed half. I learned to stop second guessing my body’s signals and not to eat out of habit. Remember that the journey often teaches more than attaining the goal. In this way, think of your goal as your intention for the year—something to work toward—it is not necessary to achieve perfection.
4. Try, try, try. Too often we defeat ourselves by throwing in the towel too early. Remind yourself that how many times you fail is not as important as how many times you get up. So if your goal is to be more thankful and your daily action point is to write down five things your thankful for, but you forget to do this for two weeks, don’t give up the exercise. Begin again where you are. You will always gain something from perseverance.
All the best in the coming year!