It’s almost the new year, store ads are boasting big sales on exercise clothes and equipment. Gyms are having new member sales. I had a gym membership before we moved out of town and I hated this time of year. I would simply not go to the gym for January and February. By March it was safe to go back as most the “New Years Resolutioners” had quit going.
I used to make a list of resolutions for the New Year. I would do as most other people and keep them for a short while and forget. The usual diet, exercise resolutions were the second to go. The first to go was practice my guitar and banjo every day. That never lasts and it’s one I made every year. There have been a few resolutions I have kept: quit eating fast food (with the exception of local sandwich shop), and get up when my alarm goes off are a couple.
In all my resolution making, keeping and forgetting I have learned a few tips to help you keep the resolutions you make.
Here we go:
1. Start Small
– Going to the gym or exercising every day or even every other is a big commitment and requires a lifestyle change right off the bat. Commit to exercising two days a week for a short time. Pick the same two days each week (ex. Monday and Thursday). Do this for January, February add one more day and a little longer time. Continue like this until you are doing the days and time you want.
– Same goes for dieting. All diets start “next Monday”. Your diet can start today! Don’t over do it though. Start small. Change one sugar drink a day for water, or one snack for fruit. Maybe you are going to start eating breakfast, start with something quick, banana or toast. By starting with something quick it won’t disrupt your current morning routine so you will keep it up.
– Another diet tip- eating a huge piece of cake on Sunday because your never going to eat cake again starting Monday will set you up to fail right away. Your body will need longer to “detox” if you will from whatever you gorged on the day before, giving you a craving feeling and making the start of a diet miserable.
2. Keep Reminders
– Whether it’s sticky notes on the bathroom mirror or an alarm on your phone to remind you of your goal. Simple really the more your reminded the more you remember to try.
I say “try” because having a perfect record is nearly impossible. A little slip is ok sometimes just remember what your goal is.
3. Set a Goal
-This is a multiple step. Set the big goal (run a marathon. lose 20 lbs, use up your current yarn supply) Then set a series of smaller goals each one leading up to the big goal (run 15 min a day, lose one pound a week, use this ball of yarn).
4. Do it With a Friend
– If your lucky enough to have a friend with the same goal strive to reach the goal together. It doesn’t matter if you make it a competition (who can knit the most sweaters by spring) or you go it at the same rate. Life moves fast these days you may not be able to get together to knit but you can call or send a letter, text or email of encouragement or show off and see how the other is coming.
5.One at a Time
– If your like me you wan to do it all… yesterday. Again setting yourself up to fail. I had very good luck one year when I had a stack of random projects I wanted done and others I wanted to learn how to do by making a calendar. January was the month of knitting, February was leather, March was banjo (fail), you get the picture. If I wouldn’t have set monthly goals I would have attempted everything in January and wouldn’t have got to far.
6. Want it!
– Talk all you want but until you really truly want it its not going to happen. Simple as that.
7. Do it for You!
– Setting a goal because of someone else is another set up for failure. This is true for most everyone there is always an exception for this one and loving parent doing something for a child but these cases are few and far between.
8. No One Will do it for You!
-Even if your working with a friend they can only encourage you they can do it for you! This is where Wanting it comes into play. It’s very frustrating when you try to help and encourage as best you can when the one your trying to help wont help them self.
9. Keep Trying
Everything takes time. It takes 21 days to make a good habit and 3 days to break it. Doing something new (again) takes time. Usually it takes trying and failing multiple times before your get it. Just like learning to ride a bike. Just keep trying!
10. Hey, There’s Always Next Year
– If you fail miserably this year try again next year! 🙂