Christie Macartney: Are New Year’s Resolutions Burdens or Blessings?
Oh, the stress of it all. Is it all really necessary? Every year at this time marketing gurus love to remind you that it’s time to resolve and make time for self-improvement or be more giving.
Here’s a thought… look back at the year and check in. What did you complete from last year or are you a regular goal-maker and achiever? It’s important to recognize accomplishments and celebrate. Find alternatives to behaviours/habits that really aren’t serving you well and make small adjustments. I prefer to make lifestyle changes that take a bit of time. If you aren’t too sure how, ask a professional.
With all the good intentions, only a small fraction of us keep our resolutions; the University of Scranton research suggests that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.
Top Five Resolution Tips
Keep It Simple
Working in the health and wellness industry for over 10 years has allowed me to see people make too many drastic changes that end up becoming more of a burden than setting up for a successful resolution. Rather than resolve to attend the gym 5 days a week, start with three days. Most people go with Monday, Wednesday and Fridays so there’s a break between training days. Stick to this for three months and then adjust with an extra day, maybe even a reward such as trying a new class like yoga or a TRX class. Make a list of 10 goals, then pick three that mean the most to YOU.
Check in: Ask if yourself if you can realistically sustain the steps to your resolution. If it feels like TOO much, it is. Sustaining a short list is best. Pick three. Even if you pick three simple goals for the year it will mean so much to you by the end of the year. Even if you shift your habits by 1% every year that is more than most people do in a lifetime.
Keep It Measurable
How much money do you want to save this year? Create a savings account and deposit x amount per week. 10% of your income is a good place to start according to the great book, The Wealthy Barber by author David Chilton. A great way to keep accountable is by using a journal to record the small tangible steps that you complete each day or each week. One note or another computerized journal works as well. For my purposes, I prefer to hand write. I also use One Note to track my files and dream list.
Check in: Are you writing down what you are doing? For example taking pictures of your progress is a good way to visualize how much you have achieved if you are trying to gain muscle, lose weight or achieve greater health through better eating habits.
Adjust As Needed
If your plan isn’t sustainable because it overwhelms you then take a step back and do a little less. A little less is far better than stopping all together.
Check in: Is this what you really want to do or is there a more pressing resolution/goal you would prefer to devote time to?
Ask For Support and Have a Goal Buddy
If you feel that the goal is difficult but you really want to focus time on achieving success, ask in your network for help, family or friends. Go where you know you will receive support rather.
Are the people who have offered to support you following through and providing exactly what you need… support or are they a negative nelly? It’s okay to let go of people that do not help you go where you want to become more for not only you but those around you. Awareness precedes change.
Fun, Family and Friends
Back in the old days when I was living in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan times were definitely different. With a population of 750, if that we found time as a family or with friends to fill up time in the evenings or weekends hiking, playing hide-and-seek, ball hockey or tunneling through the snow to make the best fort EVER! Keep it simple as I’ve said before. As my mother said years ago…”time is time.”
Pick a goal that may be all encompassing. For example this year I chose to register in June for a local Physique level fitness. It’s a longer term goal, however it requires dedicated mindset, stringent nutritional application and training time.
Thank goodness for “apps” because there’s an app for everything!
Top Five Resolutions and Applications to TRY
1. Quit smoking – My quit smoking coach #quitsmoking
2. Get healthier – Fitbit or keep a journal #health
3. Be a positive thoughtful person – Positivity with Andrew Johnson #positivity
4. Get out of Debt – mint.com #
5. Help more through volunteer – #We365 or go to local food shelter and ask how you can help
Sometimes a resolution can be a selfless act that really impresses upon being more than just living for ourselves… “Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” Goran Persson
Enjoy the New Year’s festivities and I’ll see you in the New Year.
Health and Wellness Advocate