We are past the mid-point in January. It’s time for a check in: are you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? If not, how can you get back on track and not give up?
Like every single other year, I’ve found that the eminently doable resolutions I made on December 31st were easier to declare than they have been to keep. But I’m persevering this year, and I hope the following tips will help you stick to your goals too!
1. Ask Why it’s Hard
I haven’t stuck to my resolutions perfectly. So I’ve asked myself why I’ve faltered and why it’s been hard. Doing this helped me a.) Keep perspective, and b.) Make changes to stay on track.
The fact is, dieting is a bitch. So is carving out more time for something when you feel like you have no time to begin with. Once I acknowledged my goals were going to be more challenging than just saying I had goals (lol), I was able to keep some perspective (aka, I’m not a failure just because change is hard).
I also made some changes to my schedule to make my goals easier to reach. For example, I’m trying to do the 5:2 diet (intermittent fasting) where I only eat 500 calories two days a week. Well guess what? I’m tired and hungry those days. To compensate, I’ve kept myself busy doing menial tasks, like laundry, to keep my mind off food.
2. Realize Progress Doesn’t Come Overnight
I keep stepping on the scale and there’s not much change. I put on pants. They still aren’t loose. I look at this blog. It’s still not perfect. It’s okay. Resolving to change doesn’t mean the results of change occur immediately. Which brings me to my next point….
3. For Now, Focus on Weekly Goals, Not the Results
I’ve decided that, for now, meeting my weekly goals will be my measure of success. Did I do what I said I’d do? Yes or no? After a reasonable period of time has passed with me keeping the resolution, I’ll look at the results.
If you made a generalized resolution like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be a better mom,” it’s going to be difficult to a.) Stick to, or b.) See a change. Why? You don’t have a plan. You don’t even have a week-to-week goal to meet. Vague ambitions don’t work. Instead, try to:
4. Make More Specific Goals
Wanting to be a better mom is a laudable objective. But what is your measuring stick? Is it more quality time with your tykes? Resolve to come home an hour early one day a week. Or perhaps you can make one weekend afternoon “kid time” and just play without worrying about housework or other chores. Choose something specific that doesn’t sound too hard. Like I said from the outset, changing is difficult, even when it sounds easy on paper.
The more specific—and the simpler—you make your goal, the more likely you are to stick to it.
5. Make Tweaks as Needed
As important as it is to make a plan and stick to it, you also have to make it fit real life. And sometimes real life gets complicated.
If you’re looking to be a more involved mom and you have to travel for business one week, don’t worry. Find a way to keep the spirit of your resolution (extra Facetiming?). It doesn’t have to be exact, but you should try to stick to it, even in a modified way, if you can’t do it exactly.
6. Plan to Reevaluate in the Future
Change doesn’t happen overnight. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like my resolutions (aka, life goals) are out of reach. I get discouraged when the scale doesn’t instantly move or when, basically, I don’t get what I want immediately. (Have I just been hanging out with a toddler too long!?!)
The rational side of me knows I have to be an adult about progress. I have to stick to my plan and not let day-to-day fluctuations or disappointments derail me. I need to give it time. And at an appointed date in the future, I can reevaluate. Did I lose weight? Am I feeling more connected to my child? Am I more organized? If not, what can I tweak in my plan to get better results?
7. Don’t Give Up Just Because You’re Not Perfect
It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I’ve quit so many resolutions because the disappointment of not living up to my preconceived notion about how it should go felt worse than being a quitter.
Does that sound like you?
Have you ever promised to start a diet on Monday, given in to the hangry by 5 pm, eaten everything in sight, and then just quit since you already “messed it up”?
This is so unnecessarily self-defeating.
If you mess up, resolve to change. And don’t wait until the following Monday or the next month or year. Get it together TOMORROW (or as soon your schedule allows). Give yourself a break, but don’t let a break be an excuse to be a quitter.
If you have to quit anything, promise to quit doing your resolutions next month…after you’ve given them a fair chance to succeed!
Q: What do you do to stay on track with New Year’s resolutions?