The Monday Motivator | On New Year's Resolutions

December 31, 2018

The Monday Motivator is a series meant to motivate, encourage, inspire and provide advice on real life stuff.*

It's New Year's Eve, which means you've probably already heard that pesky question numerous times: "What are your resolutions?"

Some people find the idea of New Year's resolutions annoying. I would know; I used to be one of those people. Making resolutions is a lot of pressure. It can feel very intimidating, which is probably why you feel like you've buried your resolutions come February. So you think, "why make any resolutions if I know I won't abide by them?"

Like I mentioned, I get it. I felt the same way until two years ago when I began recording my resolutions on the blog. Not only did I start recording my resolutions, but I also started getting more practical with them. I've found that both of these things helped my New Year's resolutions become more successful.

As far as recording your resolutions, I'm not saying start your own blog tomorrow. If you want to, by all means, do it! But you can simply write down your resolutions in a journal, in your phone, or on a sticky note. Wherever you record them, put it somewhere you can view easily and often. I reference my resolutions throughout the year to check on my progress and determine where I need to improve.

Now comes the actual writing of the resolutions, which is where I encourage you to BE. REALISTIC. If you have too many resolutions or make them too difficult, chances are it's NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.

First things first, only decide on 3-4 resolutions. Sure, you may feel super psyched about your 8 resolutions on January 1, but as the year goes on, 8 resolutions can feel daunting, and instead of trying to accomplish a few, you will probably ditch them all and beat yourself up about it. Working on 3-4 resolutions throughout the year is more achievable, and if you can't accomplish one, you may still feel determined to work toward the others. You can even make it just one resolution if it helps you keep your eyes on the prize!

Another tip is to create a theme across your resolutions, if possible. This will help you stay focused on the overall goal you are trying to achieve. If most of your resolutions are fitness-related, write down 3-4 fitness resolutions you may have, keeping in mind that your overall goal is to be healthier. My resolutions typically have an overall goal of self-care. Traveling, reading and watching more TV were part of my resolutions last year because I wanted to focus more on slowing down and making time for myself. These resolutions all fell under my self-care goal.

Finally, write your resolutions so they are ACTUALLY achievable. Don't make them so difficult that you will get discouraged if you're not accomplishing them. Instead of writing "I will lose 20 pounds," you should write "I will work to become healthier." At the end of the year, you can record if you lost any weight, but you won't have the pressure all year of a specific number. For my reading resolution last year, I didn't write down a number of books I had to read. I read at my own leisure without the stress of racing toward a number before December 31. The harder you make your resolutions, the more likely you are to put them off and act like you never wrote them.

If your past experience with resolutions is just bailing on them, chances are they are too difficult, there are too many, or they are unrealistic. It's important to remember this: although resolutions might feel like a to-do list, they are NOT. You have an entire year to work on your resolutions. If we think of our resolutions as a to-do list, we will mentally feel like they need to be complete by the end of January, which is SO NOT realistic.

And finally, perhaps the MOST important thing to keep in mind when conjuring up your resolutions for the year is to curate them for YOU. Resolutions are for you and you alone. No one else but YOU is responsible for accomplishing them. Make them about what you TRULY want for yourself. It could be something as simple as being better about keeping the inside of your car tidy. Or it could be trying out new fitness classes and finding one to stick with all year. Whether it's simple or something that may be a bit of a struggle, make it about you.

That's right- the FF is giving you full permission to be selfish with your resolutions. But that is what it's for! Bettering yourself in a variety of ways so you can have your best year YET.

So- what I can only hope for is that today's Monday Motivator helped you to become a little less intimidated by those resolutions hanging over your head. In fact, you don't even have to call them "resolutions." Let's call em' "New Year's Motivational Goals."

Yes. That sounds strong and empowering. Just like you.


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