Keeping it Simple- Steps to Stick To It in 2019
Liz Greenlaw, Yates Field House Health & Wellness Coach
Although we may eat and drink our way through the days between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, we wake up on January 1st with every intention of doing things differently for the rest of the coming year…
But, by the second or third week of January, you may have noticed one of two things: You’ve either a) formed some new, sustainable habits that excite you or b) completely ditched your unrealistic resolutions.
In years past, I have started January off with a thorough to-do list of all my hopes and dreams that I wished to accomplish in the coming year. While this process seemed very efficient, it quickly became quite daunting and stressful. And to be honest, it didn’t always help me to accomplish my goals. As much as I enjoy checking items off my “to do” list, sometimes just reading through the remaining tasks led me to focus not on what I had accomplished, but on what I had failed to accomplish. It also pulled me out of the moment and into a state of future anxiety…
Do you find yourself in the same boat? Or maybe you find yourself still worrying about “rollover resolutions” from last year? Don’t get stuck on old resolutions that didn’t work out. Instead, focus on moving forward and making new resolutions that stick! Here are 3 ways to help you shift your mindset in order to set yourself up for success in 2019…
1) Don’t just “resolve” … COMMIT to something:
To actually stay on track, we need to change the language around our goals and shift our brains to a different way of thinking. Instead of saying, “I would like to,” or “I will try,” make stronger statements to yourself. For example, “I WILL do X, Y & Z in the New Year” creates a different sense of urgency and develops a deeper sense of commitment. To practically apply this idea, you might put some money down to keep you committed. Or, maybe you schedule specific events into your calendar that will serve as milestones.
Commitment entails saying “no” to certain actions and behaviors that don’t align with our goals, so that we have more space in our lives to say “yes” to those things that do align.
2) Make it CONCRETE:
Write down your aspirations and goals and put them in places where they’ll be seen each day. Those daily visual reminders go a long way in keeping our priorities top-of-mind. The saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” is so true! If you aren’t looking at your goals daily, writing them down and visualizing them as if you have already achieved them, you will never move forward with inspired action towards them. Then, they soon become something that seems hard – something you procrastinate about – and soon those “resolutions” are just a thought of the past.
Research on follow-through shows that it primarily comes down to the written answers to 4 questions: What? When? Where? How? For example: On Monday and Friday at 6pm I will exercise with a trainer at the gym, and on Wednesday at 5:30pm, I will sprint the hill to the top of campus for 10 minutes after a warm-up.
3) Create CONSISTENCY:
To reach the goals and intentions that you set for 2019, find ways to consistently remind yourself of what they are. How do you do this? Find an accountability partner (or two!) that will check in with you to see how you’re doing with your goals. This is a great time to seek out a Health & Wellness coach, who can help you map out a plan of all the action steps you need to take, and who will help to create a consistent measure of accountability.
It’s proven that social support has a positive impact on a person’s overall well-being and longevity. Having someone who sticks by your side while you tackle tough goals can build up your confidence and change your life for the better.
Rarely is it a good idea to go wild with New Year’s resolutions. Rather, diligent focus on goals will carry you much farther. Clearly articulated, compelling goals are the key to continual and gratifying progress.
Need some coaching guidance and accountability? We’re here to help! Our Health & Wellness Coaching program, Well Within, is designed to transform your approach to wellness and help you form smart, attainable healthy lifestyle habits that will make you feel great all year long! It’s never too late to start, and it’s not too late to create the life that you are rightly deserving of!
This blog post was written to provide educational information only. This article should not be used as a substitute or a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions or concerns about your personal health, you should always consult with your physician. It is recommended that you consult with your physician or health care professional before beginning any fitness regimen to determine if it is suitable for your needs. The use of any information provided by this article is solely at your risk.