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Blog

The difference between New Years Resolutions and Life Changes

Caroline Smith

Drawing by RabbitWifePen&Ink

Do you make resolutions each year? If you are like me, I usually make a few but rarely keep them. What's interesting is that I often find myself making the same resolutions that I tried to keep the year before. Change takes time, especially big changes. Here are a few tips on how to make changes for life rather than new years resolutions.

1. Involve your people. Whether your tell your friends, family, or co workers, make sure that your community knows what you are working on. Feeling a sense of accountability often helps keep you on track.

2. Be realistic. Think about what your current "normal" is and take that into account. Don't set your self up to fail. For example: I have a goal of walking 10,000 steps daily but in general my daily average is more like 4,000. My life goal will be to be active for 1 hour (aka 10,000 steps) 3 times a week. Once I get to a place where that is my normal, then I can adjust to make it more of a challenge and say maybe 5 days a week until I work up to 10,000 steps daily. Focus on small steps to create a change of lifestyle over time that's sustainable.

3. Figure out your motives. If I have a goal of losing weight or of eating differently, it's important that I understand why I have that goal. Do I believe that I will be more loved or admired if I attain this? Am I doing this because I feel pressured by someone else or by a physical problem? Am I searching for happiness or fulfillment? I've found that my motives usually make or break a change.

4. Come up with reminders for the life changes that are hard to remember on a daily basis. One of mine is to drink at least 64oz of water every day. I am doing a few things as reminders or as motivation. I bought a water bottle that has measurements on the outside, I track my intake through an app on my phone, and I must always accept when someone offers me water. These little things help me stay on track.

Purchase here

Purchase here

5. Schedule a monthly check in with yourself. Make a list of your daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly commitments and re evaluate whether or not you are able to fully commit in a way that is meaningful. If not, start eliminating. When your schedule is maxed out you are less likely to be able to add new changes into your routine.

image by allaboutami

image by allaboutami

6. Make a plan for how you will accomplish your life goals. For example, if I want to begin the habit of storing my clothes in my closet or dresser rather than all over my bedroom floor/furniture, then I first have to purge my closet and storage space until all of my clothing fits into the designated area in a manageable and comfortable way. Once I have a spot for my clothes I'm much more likely to hang them back up or fold them to store in my dresser. Often times our bad habits make sense. If my closet is jam packed and has no room or order, then I'm likely to leave my clothes on a chair where I can easily find them BUT if my closet it organized, I'm much more likely to make use of it.


Did you make resolutions this year? How are they going? Any tips or ideas you would like to share?