New Year Renewal
For many the start of a new year brings thoughts and motivation to make a change in one’s life. It is a long-standing January tradition to make a New Year’s resolution. Resolutions can be about creating or changing habits in the hope it will lead to something better physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
Following are some tips and encouragement to improve the odds of your success as you reach toward a New Year’s resolution goal. And remember, any day of the year is a potential day to begin working toward positive change in life, not just January 1st.
- Yes, you can! No one is too old or has been doing what they’re doing too long that change can’t be achieved.
- Avoid overwhelm. Work on one change at a time. Do not decide, for example, to take on a new exercise program, eat more healthfully, drink more water, and quit social media all at the same time. This will not allow you to effectively use goal reinforcement strategies and tools without becoming consumed by ‘I should’ or ‘I can’t, and then throwing in the towel.
- Think positive. It’s always important to phrase your goal habit in positive language and thoughts. State what you want to do rather than what you don’t want to do. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to stop spending so much time online,” you might say, “I can spend up to one hour online daily.”
- Reinforce your successes. Pair the steps you take toward your goal with something that you like to do. Do this often at the start and you will increase success. For example, if your goal is to move your body more each day, go for walks and once a week (or so) reward yourself with a stop at your local coffee shop for a tasty beverage when you’re done.
- Be your own cheerleader. Write encouragement on sticky notes and place them where you’ll see them often.
- Be accountable to others. Tell your goal to a friend or family member. Ask them to check-in on how you’re doing once in a while. Ask if you can reach out to them for support if your enthusiasm for continuing your resolution work is waning.
- Consider keeping a resolution journal where you record your successes and jot down any struggles you might experience. Note what is working well as you progress and what you plan to do to make it work better if needed. Pivoting intentionally with a new plan of action is a great way to continue your progress!
Good luck and happy new year!