New Year Same Me

It’s easy to get caught up in the New Year, New Me rhetoric, but how do you stick to a new year’s resolution?

I’ve personally never been able to stick to a resolution. Usually by the 2nd week of January I’ve hit a slump and decided to be kind to myself by having a day off, or by having a small piece of the forbidden food. Eventually, I realise that the world didn’t end because I allowed myself to relax for a moment in my resolution and I continue along my way.

I would eventually forget about the resolution, my mind tends to forget things that aren’t habits. Reminders and photos on the fridge fade into the background. I grow bored and frustrated with myself.

This year, I’m trying a different approach. I’m setting myself smaller goals. Goals that are attainable. I keep the big picture somewhere safe, written in a journal. Somewhere I don’t see it on a day to day basis and somewhere I will rediscover it later on in the year. Each day is about attaining the small goal. I’ve set reminders in the calendar on my phone. It is always beside me. Writing in journals has never worked for me, I have so many pretty notebooks full of good intentions and about 3 weeks worth of journalling. My phone goes everywhere with me.

The key point is to be kind to yourself, and me to myself too. Smaller goals can be crossed off easier. The dopamine hit from getting to put a big tick or cross through the day brings with it a feeling of satisfaction.

Find a quiet moment to yourself, somewhere you are safe and secure. Take a moment to breathe, as much as is comfortable, if you feel any pain, stop and return to your natural breath.

Breathe in through your nose, feel the breath fill your lungs and keep going to fill the stomach with breath. You’ll feel your lungs expand and then your stomach will expand as you take a deep breath. Hold the breath for just a moment, and then release. Feeling the stomach relax and then your lungs. Imagine yourself relaxing as you breathe out. A long breath out.

Breathe deeply again, taking all that breath in, holding for a moment, counting to three and letting all that breath out again, slowly letting your body relax.

You may be feeling more relaxed now, take another breath if you wish. The point of the exercise is to clear your mind by concentrating on your breath. Bringing you to the present and clearing your mind.

What is your big goal?

Okay, cool, yeah, that’s a big goal and I believe you can do it, in the long term. It is going to take time though, so break that big goal down into smaller goals.

What can you do in the short term towards your goal?

Yeah, uh-huh, I hear you. Are these smaller goals realistic? Like really?

Okay, awesome!

Those smaller goals, let’s write them down, somewhere you will see them. Don’t let them fade into the background, you’ve worked hard to think of them.

Take a moment to reflect and a small promise to yourself, that you will work towards these goals. Also, we’re going to make a promise that there is no failure here. Missing a day is not a complete failure.