The dreaded “New Year, New You” slogans are all over the place
Which means people will be gearing up to make resolutions that they most likely won’t resolve. Many people will be going into 2016 with hopes of losing weight, getting healthier, saving or earning more money, getting organized, eating better, exercising more, and spending more time with family. Studies show that unfortunately, only about 8% of people will succeed.
I wrote about my hatred for the “New You” slogan a couple years ago. It’s a marketing slogan that tries to convince people that losing weight and wrinkles will make them happier.
The best resolution you can make in the New Year is to Be YOU, not a different version of you.
I am not against resolutions or bettering yourself. I am all for it actually. However, I hate seeing people not following through with their goals and being met with disappointment. I love setting goals and I too use things like a new day, a new week, and a new year as a starting point for change. I like to go into the New Year intentionally. When you do things with intent, you do them on purpose. You are being proactive instead of reactive.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you are reacting to the weight you put on over a period of time. If look at it intentionally and say, I am moving my body so I can build strength and have more energy, you are being proactive towards your health. This will help create a lasting healthy habit with lifelong benefits. When you exercise to lose something you gain nothing, when you move your body for the joy of doing so, you gain everything.
When you set your goals for the New Year, you can use my SIMPLE acronym to help you be successful. (S-Specific, I-Intentional, M-Measurable, P-Plan, L-Likely, E-Evaluate)
S is for Specific
You need to be clear about what you are out to accomplish. Being specific is essential. Here is how to set a specific resolution:
Instead of saying “I will spend more time with my spouse” you say “Every morning, we will have coffee or breakfast together before work” or “I will call or text every day to check in” or “I will turn off my phone and alerts at 5pm” or “I will not look at my phone when my spouse is talking”
Instead of saying “I will exercise more” you say “I will join a cardio class” or “I will walk for 30 minutes every morning before work” or “I will get a running buddy and run on my lunch break”
I is for Intentional
Intentions are not goals. They are ways of life. When you set an intention you are tapping into a higher-conscious thought that focuses on how you want to feel or “be”. Goals can help carry you through life, but intentions help keep you grounded and in the ever-changing moments. When you think about things you want to accomplish in the next year, ask yourself how you want to feel?
For example, if your focus is on health then instead of saying “I want to get healthier or eat better” try saying, “I want to feel energized and at peace so I move my body every morning before work and eat at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day”.
Instead of saying, “I will save more money” try saying, “I want to feel free, have financial peace, and a healthy relationship with money so I will put $200 of each paycheck into savings and be grateful for the bills I get to pay.
M is for Measurable
There is no point in setting a goal if you can not look back and track it. You will not feel like you succeeded and it will not motivate you. Everyone loves celebrating their accomplishments so you need to set resolutions that you can look back on and say, “Hey! Look what I did!” With anything you set out to do, plan for how you will measure it.
For example, when I move my body and exercise, I always measure my energy that day and how well I slept. I do not believe in the numbers. I don’t look at the scale, the miles, the calories, or the time. I measure how good I feel, how much energy I have, how productive I was, how happy I feel, and how good I slept.
If I am setting out to save money, I get specific on my goals and then measure how much I have in my jar or account at the end of a certain time. When I see things add up, it keeps me going.
P is for Plan
You need a plan for your resolutions and sometimes it may mean multiple ones. Set an intention that your resolutions are going to be ongoing ways of change. If you want to connect more with your spouse, you may have to try various things and get creative with schedules. If you want to move your body more and get healthier, you may have to try various workout classes and schedules before you find what works for you. This is not failing, this is working towards success.
L is Likely
This means being realistic. If you didn’t exercise at all last year, do not expect to exercise every day next year. If you don’t eat fruits and vegetables now, chances are you won’t eat the recommended 5-9 servings everyday. So you need to work with the “what is”. What is your current situation and how can you slowly incorporate change?
If you want to exercise, start slowing by moving for 10 minutes everyday for 7 days and then gradually increase. If you want to go to bed earlier, start with 5-10 minute increments until you are at your ideal time. If you go crazy and join a bootcamp and you haven’t moved in years, chances are you will hurt yourself and quit. This is too much shock to the system and your brain will try to protect you from the change. Set yourself up for success not defeat and misery.
E is for Evaluate
This is ongoing. You need to constantly be evaluating the things you are doing to better your life as we are constant works in progress. We are all here to find ourselves and the journey is ever changing. One thing may not work for you and that doesn’t mean failure, it just means it’s not your way so you try another.
If you set out to eat more clean, whole foods and have a specific plan for it, make sure to re-evaluate this often. You need to take into account our bodies’s needs, the changes of the season, and food intolerances.
I wish you all successful New Year’s resolutions! Kerry xo