New Year’s resolutions are well-intended, but most resolutions fade away after a few weeks.
Every year, our number one resolution is always to lose weight, and it’s probably why gyms can offer such great deals in January, knowing that most people will never use the full membership.
Stop “resolving” and start “evolving”.
Resolution implies bold, massive change. Evolution is all about baby steps. What gives them impact is consistency. Be consistent with any effort and it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go – you’ll get there. Indeed, “evolution” is more focused on the journey – a good thing – because that’s where we’ll spend most of our lifetime!
Many of our daily routines and poor habits didn’t just happen — they evolved gradually – through baby steps – to become part of our lifestyle. That’s what makes them hard to break.
Slow – but steady – wins every race. If our resolutions are too extreme, we don’t keep them. Then we feel like we failed, but the resolution failed us, because it was too giant a step when baby steps would have been better, and more productive. Bodies aren’t technology. Accept that our bodies, behaviors, and attitudes will change more slowly than our phones.
Ultimate Success Starts With Good Prep Work
A gradual build towards better eating styles, more satisfying life and happier habits starts with good prep work. Below are some little changes that appear at the outset to have nothing to do with weight or even eating habits, but they definitely impact the choices you make during the day.
Here’s a start:
• Make only the changes you KNOW you can make. Success is guaranteed if you break everything down into steps you are sure you can manage. Even small successes are so motivating and can happen often.
• Get more sleep. Do you get up every morning wishing you had just 30 more minutes of sleep? Get it. Make a deal with yourself for just one night (baby steps!) to get to bed early, so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep. See how good you feel. Then do it again and again.
• No screens for an hour before bedtime. This 2017 study suggests light exposure from various electronic devices – in the evening – “may have detrimental effects on human health and performance,” and was associated with greater sleepiness during the day. Go old-school and read a book before bed instead.
• MOVE MORE. Even thin people need to be active, so everyone plays here, regardless of weight. Benefits: it’s a proven mood-lifter, and you often make better food choices when you’re active daily. Start walking even five or 10 minutes each day, or as often as possible.
• Re-connect with non-food pleasures. Make this a priority. Food is such instant gratification that other pleasures get pushed to the side. Let’s remind ourselves that pleasure isn’t always about food. Some ideas to consider:
- Take that class you’ve wanted – yes, even the tap-dance class, or the weaving one, or the ceramics lesson. (Notice how these are NOT screen-friendly?)
- Join a film, book, or hobby club. You’ll be more accountable to the other members – and you’ll find they value your voice, a reward in itself.
- Take a day-trip on a bus or train. You’ll be back at the end of the day tired but happy.
- Do something touristy – even take a “tour”.
These are just suggestions, but think out of the box and go for your own.
Evolution happens over a year, not overnight. Commit to a new baby step every month. Next January 1, we’ll be twelve steps ahead of where we are now (and we’ll deserve that New Year’s toast!)