I’m staring my New Year’s Resolution Tomorrow!
It seems like time is already flying by in 2014! Time to check in on those New Year’s resolutions you’ve made for this year. My resolution was to not go Whole Foods unless I was dying of hunger. Well, that failed. What constitutes my dying of hunger? Clearly I’m lucky enough not to be in a situation where I am not literally dying of starvation like so many unfortunate people in the world. Admittedly, I have since been to my beloved Hot Bar many times since the beginning of the year. Have you been slipping as well with your resolutions?
Let’s visit what causes some pitfalls in resolutions, and get back on track!
1) Non-specific: The biggest pitfall in making resolutions is that they are not specific enough. We want to lose weight or be more organized. That is fantastic, but how can you know when you have achieved your goals? A great way to re-organize your goals is to be
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – specify who will do it.
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Let's use losing weight as an example for your SMART goals:
- Specific- Lose 5 pounds by August when you go on vacation.
- Measurable- Weigh yourself once a month.
- Assignable- Have a friend to get on an exercise routine and once a day green smoothie kick with you. Cut out some sweets and be accountable. Decide how you will accomplish your goal.
- Realistic- this is definitely a realistic goal. If you wanted to lose 5 pounds a month, maybe not as much.
- Time-related- you have set the goal for your vacation so you have a deadline.
2) Not realistic: Having big goals and dreams are wonderful and motivating but when you set high expectations all the time it is inevitable that sometimes you will fall short. Sometimes you have to take it day by day. Direct your attention towards many small accomplishments so just in case goals don’t work out this time, you’ll still feel like you have set yourself up for a lot of success. For example, if your goal is to live completely sustainably, make small changes by supporting local farms and reducing waste every week. If the goal is to someday have your own garden and rely on your own resources, make that something that you work up toward gradually, one step at a time.
3) Outside influence: Sometimes it is not just ourselves that can cause derailment of New Years resolutions. The influence of other people’s habits can cause a wayward journey. Say for example your resolution is to save money by cooking at home and not going out to dinner. However, you have friends who want to go out to eat constantly, perhaps your pitfall is you give in to eating out in order to be social and spend time with the people you care about. If that's the case, you could organize a potluck or order an appetizer instead of a whole meal. Surround yourself with support! People who care for your well being are a great way to keep yourself accountable and on track for your goals during the year.
4) Giving up too soon: It’s true that we are our own worst enemies. At the first notion of disappointment or failure we throw our resolutions out the window and wait until next year. Try writing down your goals on sticky notes and put them where you can see them. Try to journal as often as you can to record your progress and work out your challenges. There is no failure; there are only opportunities to begin again. I went to the Whole Foods hot bar last night, but I will do my best to space out my visits for a little bit longer.
Let's begin again...
If you have found that you’re already waiting until 2015 to start over, know that you can begin again. January 1st is just a day, and tomorrow is another one. Recommit yourself. Write down or journal your resolution so it is solidified in your mind or in front of you wherever you go. Make it SMART and realistic. Surround yourself with positive people who understand your goals and can help keep yourself accountable. Know that you might backslide but there is no such thing as failure! Best of luck in 2014, eleven months is plenty of time…take the night off and start tomorrow!
Sarah Kashdan – A Boston native, Sarah moved to Colorado in 2009 and yoga and teaching became her life passion. She found that a regular yoga practice allowed her to heal both physically and emotionally and now she is the happiest place of her life. Sarah has a master’s degree in toxicology and is also a Reiki practitioner. This combined interest in science and healing drives Sarah’s teaching to connect the mind, body, and spirit. She loves to see people find, cultivate, and shine their inner light. Currently she teaches studio classes at Corepower Yoga, Fort Collins, Mindstream Yoga, Fort Collins, and Old Town Yoga Fort Collins. Find Sarah on Facebook.