Resolutions are for idealists who live in la-la-land, right? More and more I’m hearing this: “I don’t make resolutions because I never keep them.” I completely understand. It’s difficult to continually be confronted and disappointed by our own inability to live the life we think we “should” be living. Most of us know we “should” work out more, eat better, drink less, sleep more, spend more time with family and friends…you get the idea.
May I suggest some resolutions for our resolution disillusion?
- Start small. For instance, if you do not currently exercise, it is unrealistic to think you’ll be working out every day. Make a goal to exercise more and build on that.
- Know yourself. If you hate going to the gym and walking/running on the treadmill feels like a slow, painful death, do not join a gym! If you enjoy dancing, yoga, biking, etc. find a way to do what you love. You’re more likely to keep your goals if you make them for yourself and not for someone else. You do not need to fit anyone else’s definition for success.
- Simply strive to be better than you are. You define that. Not the folks around you. Stop comparing your insides to other people’s outsides. Believe me, NO ONE has a perfect life no matter how much it may look that way. Live life according to your values, not your to-do list.
- Practice gratitude. This alone will motivate you to be more kind, more patient, more loving, and more joyful. It will be easier to keep your goals because you feel better in general. Nothing kills motivation quite like feeling sorry for yourself or being depressed. Continually remind yourself to focus on what you have rather than what you don’t.
- Soak in moments. Learn to recognize and then pause to appreciate a scent, taste, feeling, or sight… Give yourself permission to soak it in and appreciate the little gifts we get every day.
- Begin verbalizing the positive things you think about others and yourself. It’s amazing what making someone smile can do for your own self-esteem and joy.
- Ask for help. If you believe the past, depression, anxiety, relationships, addiction, or something else is hindering you from achieving your goals; I hope you’ll consider counseling a viable option to help you get past those barriers. You do not have to do it alone.
Good luck and Happy New Year, friends!