Why I Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions (And What I Do Instead)
So many people have been obsessed lately with the perfect version of: clean, minimal, nontoxic, mindful, fit, healthy, vegan, parenting, schooling, and everything under the sun. We are constantly being told we can do better if we know better, which is true, but where does it end? There is always more information to be found, things that need to be changed, and areas to improve, no doubt. But we need to prioritize and take it slow.
I know I preach about a cleaner lifestyle but I am by no means perfect, and I don’t try to be. There are days that are complete disasters and I resort to fast food and scrap “self-care” practices that I know I need. I do better when I can, and I hope that you embrace that message too.
Now will come the barrage of new year’s resolutions and goals. Many of which are completely unrealistic. I’m talking about those common resolutions like losing weight, eating healthier, saving money, etc. Everyone makes these resolutions and very few people actually achieve them. I used to do it every year.
These are unrealistic and idealistic goals. So I switched to making smaller goals and it made all the difference.
I’m the type of person that is easily overwhelmed by large tasks. I HATED thinking about goals because of this. So I was never really successful with my New Year’s resolutions or any other goal setting. If this sounds like you then this method will help you.
You need to examine where you are now and then start setting smaller, achievable goals.
For example, if you want to lose 25 pounds, start with 5. Give yourself a realistic time frame like 1 month. When you lose those 5 pounds, then you can start a new goal to lose 5 more, or 10 more, and so on. You can lengthen or shorten the time frame but being flexible and working in chunks is the key to success here.
If you want to eat healthier, start with 1 change instead of a whole new diet. Make it a goal to add 1 healthy food on a daily basis for a set amount of time. For example, add a green salad a day for 1 month. Then you can add another healthy food the next month. Or make it a swap if you prefer. Swap sodas for tea, or 1 piece of dark chocolate instead of ice cream/cake/candy for dessert. This way you’re making one small change at a time that builds up to a bigger change over time.
If you want to save money, set a small number and short time frame as your first goal. Maybe it’s only $25 in one week or $50 in one month. You can modify as you wish as you go on.
The idea is these small achievable goals are ones you can actually fulfill. It’s much harder to make a mistake and say screw it when working with smaller resolutions like these. The typical “I’m going to eat healthier” goal requires a radical, sudden change in your diet. You are bound to have a lapse and then you lose the motivation to continue. That’s when people are out to dinner and say, “Well I’ll just have the burger and fries this one time now”, but then feel bad after and decide they can’t stick to their new diet. Completing small goals little by little gives you more motivation and less feelings of failure. You feel good that you were able to add that daily salad in for a month so you make another goal to add a green smoothie.
And if you fail at even these smaller goals, then adjust them. Or cut yourself some slack. If you can’t manage to add that daily salad in for 1 month, then try 4 times a week for 2 weeks first. Break them down even more so that you can achieve them. Then you can continue to modify and build up or simply continue the pace. I usually stick to my way of eating 75% of the time. I am not going to stress about it during celebrations or events. It’s not that big of a deal to have a few cheat meals and then pick up where you left off.
My Goals for 2018
I don’t really have any resolutions for 2018. I made a lot of big changes in the last 6 months and have general goals regarding my schedule. I am trying to find a balance between my businesses, spending time with my family, blogging, working out, eating clean foods, and practicing self-care on a regular basis. Up until recently I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I had no free time to myself so I had to make a few changes. I’m also working on sticking to a budget and being more organized overall. There’s always progress to be made in those areas.
One thing I really want is for us to take a few family trips this year. I’m researching some ideas now so that we can start planning for that.
Remember that no one is perfect. You don’t need to completely overhaul your diet, beauty routine, fitness routine, house, or anything to improve yourself. We are all at different places in our lives with different priorities, values, and circumstances.
And if you don’t want to make any new year’s resolutions, that’s fine too. We all know we don’t need any added pressure to do or be better.
Let me know in the comments if there are any topics you’d like me to cover this year.