You made it through the holidays, with all the fun and family, and definitely the stresses that accompany the end of the year. As the holiday season winds down, it is time to settle into the last months of winter, which can definitely prove challenging at times. On top of that you may have set yourself a resolution to kick off the new year. That’s great, and the intention of setting a resolution is an awesome one! For those who have set a diet-based resolution let’s talk about a few tips and tricks to make it the most successful new year plan possible.
First, when it comes to making changes to an eating routine it is really helpful to hone in on one small change you wish to start with. With so much information out there around dieting, exercise, and especially weight management around the new year, it can be tempting, and simultaneously confusing, to try and choose what is the best way to start your journey. Looking at all the available information it can sow seeds of doubt regarding whether or not you have chosen the “right” thing to do for your health and resolution success. The good news is, the “right” thing to start with is the habit you can feel totally confident in AND feel comfortable with changing in your routine. For example, if I am someone who never eats vegetables, and I resolve to eat salad at every meal, this change is going to seem massive and probably be a bit overwhelming to introduce to my routine, as it will take a good deal of mental and emotional energy to change this habit. However, if I am that same non-vegetable eater, and I resolve to eat a vegetable-based meal once a week, the likelihood of success is much higher! Now these small changes may not sound like much, but they perfectly lead into the second consideration of successful resolutions…
Crush your small change goals for two-weeks at a time! Once you’ve set your sights on a goal that you feel totally confident and in ownership of you want to adhere to that goal as strongly as possible for no less than two-weeks. Why two weeks? This is generally a long enough period of time to solidify your new habit AND to see if it is having the desired effect you’re looking for. After two weeks you’ll have a better grasp on whether or not that goal is one to continue with, pivot away from, or progress! And while two-weeks may not seem like much time you can think of it like compounding interest, in that each change will build off of the last and become that much more impactful. After stringing together a full year of these two-week changes, at the end of 2019 you’ll have made 26 steps forward toward your goals!!
Lastly, and most importantly, remember that your new year’s resolution is exactly that, a new YEAR’s resolution. Give yourself the space of a whole year to pursue your goals. Condensing that time frame into a 6-8 week period and expecting to see large scale changes is stressful, and if unmet, very frustrating. Additionally, as much as possible seek to remove the pressure of success from the goal. That may be a strange concept, and this can be really tough, as we of course want to achieve our goals, but the outcome is not always controllable, and attaching our worth or happiness on the outcome is a slippery slope. However, what is within our reach of influence is the process by which we pursue or desired goals. Set small, attainable goals, pursue them diligently two-weeks at a time, and keep repeating this process, enjoying the journey along the way, and by the time 2020 rolls around you’ll be amazed at all you have accomplished :)