January is an interesting month. It’s the start of a brand-new year, which can feel exciting and a good time to try something new. But it’s the middle of winter, the excitement of the festive season is over, and things can feel a bit flat. So, what are we meant to do with ourselves?
During this month, there is a lot of pressure to create a ‘new you.’ At MoreLife, we take a different approach. We don’t think there’s anything wrong with the ‘old you.’ If you do decide to set yourself a resolution, it doesn’t have to be about completely reinventing yourself or focus only on weight loss. You can start by thinking about your values and what’s most important to you. Your family, your friendships, your love of nature, for instance. How can you tap into these values?
Also, it’s worth taking the time to acknowledge your achievements from last year. No matter how your year was, you made it through, so you must have some inner strengths. You could try setting some resolutions that aim to draw out these strengths or make improvements to your life.
Here at MoreLife, we love helping people make real, long-lasting changes. We know this can be challenging. There will be times when you may have to give yourself a push, so we’ve put together some tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions.
There are three specific questions that can help give you a push in the right direction when it comes to sticking to New Year’s resolutions:
Why do you want to make a change?
Who can support you as you work toward change?
How will you celebrate your victories?
We can’t answer these questions for you. This is your journey and you’re in charge of how you approach it. But before you set off in the direction you want to go in, it’s important to check in with yourself and ask why you’re doing this and who’s going to help you get there.
Let’s look at the resolution itself. It’s very easy to make sweeping statements in January. “I’m going to get healthy.” “I’m going to lose weight.” However, this style of thinking won’t get you very far into the year. We’ve written all about setting SMART goals and how you can accomplish them.
Essentially, your resolutions should have a clear target that you can realistically hit. It’s best to start with small changes and take one step at a time. Remember that changes won’t happen overnight. Real, long-lasting, changes take time.
It’s not what you feel like doing in the next two weeks, but what can you realistically see yourself doing for the rest of the year and after that?
You Can Make Mistakes
Speaking of making resolutions that last, try not to put on too much pressure on yourself because it’s January. It’s just another month of the year.
If you break your resolution, that’s totally ok. You won’t be alone. So many people break their resolution only a couple of weeks into January, to the extent that it’s even got its own name: Quitter’s Day. Don’t let this one setback take you completely off track. You are only human and it’s ok to make mistakes
All or Nothing Thinking
This brings us nicely on to “all or nothing thinking.” We find this to be a very common style of thinking. For instance, you may find yourself thinking you want to do everything perfectly; exercise every morning, no snacks, and healthy, home-cooked meals every single day. If one thing doesn’t go to plan – you go out for dinner with friends, you miss a morning walk – there’s the temptation to abandon everything and start again tomorrow. Or next week. Or on Monday.
As we’ve already said, you’re allowed to make mistakes. Your new routine won’t always be perfect and that’s fine. In fact, that’s normal and it means it’s flexible enough to fit into your everyday life. If something doesn’t go to plan, you can reset your resolution any time you like. Whether it’s January 2nd or the week after, or a month after. Any day is a good day to start making changes.
If you’d like a helping hand with your resolution, then why not reach out to your family and friends? This can be particularly helpful if you’re looking to get more active. Exercise can be a daunting thought if you’re not experienced or haven’t done it for a while. Having a friend by your side can really help. There are so many social benefits from exercising, From having that extra encouragement to finding more motivation. You could also consider joining a club or a class for a sense of community.
Whether you choose to exercise solo or with others, the main thing is you find something that’s right for you. You are much more likely to stick to it if it’s something you genuinely enjoy doing.