I have a confession: I used to not be very fond of New Year’s resolutions. Sure, I’d create resolutions that were good for me. I’d even follow through on some of them. But when I did, it felt like torture. The only thing keeping me going was sheer willpower, and that was incredibly draining.
Maybe you’ve felt this way too with your New Year’s resolutions. That seems to be why more and more people every year are giving up making resolutions altogether. It’s just not worth the struggle.
The idea behind resolutions is powerful. It’s a chance to look at what parts of your life aren’t working and make changes. That’s not something we tend to reflect on often, either because it’s too painful or because it can require a lot of work or effort. So having a holiday that encourages this is actually a great idea. But how can we make our resolutions sticky, and not something that lasts only a few weeks?
1 - Create a resolution you'll enjoy
Resolutions became something to look forward to only when I started creating resolutions I wanted to do. If you’re excited about the resolution you create for yourself, it won’t end up feeling like a chore and you’ll stick to it even when it’s difficult.
I’ve always been devoted to my workout, but not because I wanted to do it. It felt like something I had to do because I wanted to feel strong and energetic. So I would go, but I never stuck to any particular workout more than a couple of months.
This year was different. I decided to try dance because it was one of the few things I hadn’t tried. And now for the first time, I jump out of bed to get to my class.
Dance makes me feel connected to my body in ways that weight lifting, cardio machines, boot camp, and TRX never did. Plus, it’s just fun. It’s something I’d do now whether or not I was focused on my health. The fact that it does as much for my body as it does for my soul is more of a bonus now than the driving factor.
So this year when you create a New Year’s resolution, I encourage you to think about what you’ve been excited to try or what brings you joy and commit to that rather than something you “should” do that you dread.
2 - Start small and have fun while you improve
One of the biggest falter points for resolutions is that people expect to be experts at something after only a couple of weeks of trying it out. But that’s not how it works.
Take a couch potato who decides on January 1 he wants to run a marathon this year. If the marathon is that January, most people are probably going to question his sanity. But if the marathon is in November, he has a pretty good shot at making it to the finish line.
Why? Because he’s got time to build up his physical stamina. For the first couple of weeks he’ll probably walk a mile or two. Within a month he’ll be jogging a mile. And he’ll keep building up his distance until he’s running close to a marathon every week.
The same is true with any new skill. If you’re learning to play the piano, you’re going to start with scales and "Chopsticks." During your first few classes of yoga, you won’t be the most flexible person in the class and you’ll probably fall over during tree pose. While learning a new language, you’ll start with “Hello. How are you?” and slowly build your vocabulary from there.
If you allow yourself to enjoy the process of growing and not being perfect immediately, you’ll have so much more fun with your resolution. And that, as I mentioned above, is the key to sticking to it.
3 - Celebrate victories large and small
You don’t have to save all your celebrating for when something big happens. Make sure to celebrate your small wins too.
Celebrating along the way recognizes all the work you’ve done so far and all the improvements you’ve made. And that helps reinforce the enjoyment aspect and encourages you to keep making progress.
So reflect back on what you’ve done often to see just how far you’ve come and reward yourself for your achievements, even if it’s just with a pat on the back. You’ve worked hard and had fun while changing a part of your life, and that truly is something to celebrate.
4 - Start again when things don't go as planned
Every once in awhile you’re going to go off course. Even if you’re having the most amazing time with your new resolution, there will always be illnesses and emergencies and last minute deadlines at work that you can’t help.
Most people decide that to meet their resolution, they have to go all in or it isn’t worth it. They miss a few weeks of class or stop learning for a week or two and decide they’ll try again next year. But stopping doesn’t mean you can’t start up again once things calm down.
Starting back up is always going to be difficult, but as soon as you go again you’ll remember how much fun it is and keep going. So find a way to remind yourself of how much fun you had before to rebuild that momentum. Scheduling time in your calendar for when you think you’ll be able to start again will also help you to get back on the horse and keep going.
While you’re making progress toward your resolutions next year, we’re here to help! Our pre-made, nourishing meals are designed to free up your time (so you have more of it for your resolution) and keep you energized for whatever you’re tackling.
And of course if you’re working towards a health-related goal, our meals are perfect for you. Our goal at Methodology is to make wholesome, nutritious food taste delicious so you’re always looking forward to your next meal. Plus, we’re always looking to inspire you for what “healthy” can look and taste like. Many of our clients have found they make better choices for themselves when they eat out or cook once they start receiving meals, and they’re excited to do so. This change happens even for clients who only eat Methodology a couple of times a week.
Want to start receiving meals in the New Year? Sign up for our waitlist or learn more about what we do.