What's with New Year's?
People seem to be in a few camps... those who are all for New Year's resolutions and love the "blank-slate" of a new year on which to write a new story, vs those who have tried New Year's resolutions only to find that they fail, vs those who don't believe in change and self-improvement, vs those who argue you can change all year so forget about new year as any special time.
I've also seen folks using the excuse of "You're perfect just the way you are" as a reason NOT to set resolutions. To some extent this is true. You are perfectly YOU in this moment, and accepting where you are is important. The question is this: Is this the YOU that you want to remain? Is this a thriving, healthy, effective-in-your-power YOU? I believe people who say you don't need to set intentions to change are in a good place of learning self-love - but have only ever seen change as something motivated by guilt. However, change can be motivated by LOVE too!
A New Year's resolution is simply an intent to change, and change often fails. Why? Usually because we don't understand the process of change and bite off more than we can handle. We fail to assess where we are currently at in the process of change so we can make decisions that really work for ourselves.
Our goals might be too broad: I'm going to get in shape and lose weight this year!
Or our goals might be too narrow: I'm going to workout everyday and never eat cookies or pizza.
A goal that is too broad such as "I'm going to lose weight and get in shape" doesn't give you enough specifics, enough steps to get to the end prize of feeling healthy.
A goal that is too narrow such as I'm going to workout daily and never eat cookies or pizza" is bound to fail because it doesn't have a built in measure for what happens when you miss a workout or eat a cookie or slice(s) of pizza. In fact, it's a direct path to failure!
How to Make Changes that Stick
So maybe if your wider goal was to feel healthier you'd set a goal to join a gym and go with a friend at least 3x per week. You'd adopt the "More is better but some is something" attitude and realize that, even if you don't hit the gym 5 days per week, 3x per week adds up to a whole lot more by the weekend then you're doing now.
And if you don't like the gym, well this is part of that "sustainable" thing... find an activity that you do like! This is where being motivated by love rather than fear or guilt is helpful. Maybe you join the gym and discover after 8 weeks that you HATE going, hate getting up earlier than normal, and feel like a hamster on a wheel when you get there. You take a period of re-evaluation and decide to join a martial arts or ballroom dance class after work instead. You find this to be great fun. This is something you can stick with! Your body becomes healthier and trimmer through having fun - through self-love!
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