Happy New Year! Skip the Resolutions!

I don’t know about you, but I’m still living in denial.

It can’t actually be the end of 2018, can it?

  Whether you’ve had a great year or a rocky one, the end of the year is prime time to think about setting some Resolutions for the next year.  How about we try something else this time?

 So Why Not a Resolution?  Unfortunately, friends, New Year’s Resolutions set us up for failure.  More often than not, they are guilt-ridden “shoulds” rather than inspiring “wants.”  You might feel compelled by something you should do for a while, but those guilty feelings aren’t going to carry you through when the going gets tough.

 Plus, New Year’s Resolutions like “I need to lose weight” or “I should cut out the junk food” are so vague, they provide no guidance on how to be successful.  Just how are you going to lose weight?  What’s the plan to eat less junk?  Without some specifics, there’s almost no way you’ll be able to follow through.  (Plus, look at that negative language!  Should! Need to!  Yuck!)

 So, what else can you do?

 1.  Get Real. And Realistic. What do you want to do in 2019?  What makes you excited (and maybe a little nervous) when you think about it?  That’s what a real goal feels like.  Do that thing!  Figure out what that thing is, and set some parameters around it—what help do you need?  What are realistic expectations for change?  Write it out.  Make a pact with yourself.  Get real about your change!

 2. Get Excited.  Remember that excitement we were just talking about?  That’s the fuel you need to make progress.  It’s a lot more effective (and fun!) to be pulled forward by a goal than to be pushed along by an expectation.  Find a way that you can get excited about what you’re headed for this year.  Dive in with anticipation and energy, and see how much further you’ll go and grow!

3.  Get POSITIVE.  So many resolutions are set in the negative—things you want to give up, don’t want to do anymore, or think you should deprive yourself of.  YUCK.  How uninspiring is that?  You’ll be a lot more effective in meeting your goal if you can frame it as a positive.  Instead of “I need to give up junk food,” how about “I want to find some new things to snack on that are better for me.”  See?  Doesn’t that sound like more fun?  Aren’t you a LOT more likely to follow through on a positive goal than a negative resolution?  Of course you are!

 4. Pick up a New Habit.  So often we think of habits as something we want to break—smoking, snacking, couch surfing.  But there are some great habits you can take on that could change your health for the better.  How about getting into the habit of drinking a full glass of water between breakfast and lunch?  Or  the habit of eating a piece of fruit as your go-to afternoon snack—before the crackers or a cookie?  Stephen Guise has some great advice about Mini Habits and how they can help in major ways—take a look!

 As we move into a new year, I want to take a moment and share how grateful I am to have all of you in my life—virtually or otherwise.  What a gift it is to have community and connection with this great group of journeyers.  Here’s to a great year of learning and growing together! -Becky

 Becky Eason, PhD, is an Associate Certified Coach and Certified Leadership Coach.  She would love to come with you on your journey for wellness and a happy heart.  Learn more on her website: wequestforwellness.com

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