It’s that time of year when the promise of a new year forces us to make promises to ourselves we rarely keep… New year, new you. ‘New you’ typically lasts a few days, and you never stick to New Year’s Resolutions past January.
We make grand plans for our “new you” – save lots of money, fit into the back-of-the-closet clothes, never eat out again, get in the best shape ever!! A TOTAL MAKEOVER!
But … by January 15th, the “new you” is still the old you. Then, you abandon your resolutions because they were impossible to keep and required a total lifestyle transformation.
You can stick to New Year’s Resolutions if you just lower your expectations and schedule them into your week. You can do this. That’s it! Adjust your lofty goals and reset to be a little more doable… and you can accomplish anything!
The key to making a resolution is pretty simple: lower your expectations. Seriously. First, just try to be marginally better. Second, try to be marginally better again. Eventually, you’ll get there.
Here are some tips for actually sticking to New Year’s Resolutions in 2021:
1. Make your resolutions ridiculously easy.
Be lazy about your goal-setting. Your resolution should be the first small step to your ultimate big goal, which means it should be something really easy for you to accomplish. It’s so easy to get discouraged when you set an unachievable goal like “lose 20 pounds in 3 months.” Goal-setting should never be about the outcome. Instead, your goal should be something you can control. You can be vague, and your goal can simply to to eat better and walk more. Or, get specific like “pack lunch every day” or “walk 10 minutes a few times a week.” You can gradually get more ambitious like “pack a healthy lunch every day” or “walk 30 minutes a few times a week.” BUT START SMALL at first. Don’t be too aggressive and only focus on things you can control and can easily commit to doing. Take it week by week. You’ll be much more likely to stick to your resolutions if they aren’t complicated.
2. Schedule the time
What are the things you want to do? Write them down. Then, schedule those things so you’ll actually do them. Often we think we don’t have the time to do the things. Do a quick time audit of your day – just track hour by hour, to see where you have time.
That’s it: make a task that’s doable, and schedule the time to do it.
Now, let’s get into the resolutions you’re probably going to make: lose weight, save money, be happy.
What everyone wants: save money, lose weight, be happy
Here are some things you can do to meet your goals this year:
- You want to get stuff done: download the $12 daily planner that will change the way you tackle projects. Regardless of what planner you use, schedule your activities so you’re more likely to do them. Write it down. Block the time. Plan to fit them in. Even if your resolution is to “read more” – schedule in 15 – 30 minutes for reading.
- You want to start meal planning: get organized with the Paprika, the BEST meal planning app. It lets you save recipes, create a meal plan for the week (or month, if you’re that ambitious!) and make a grocery shopping list from the ingredients. Lifesaver.
- You want to lose weight: keep it super simple, and start small. Plan to bring your lunch instead of going out. Commit to just closing your rings. Here are 6 really easy things my husband did to lose 30 pounds last year – and none were that aggressive. Or, follow the reasons that makes OrangeTheory so effective – schedule the workout, use a coaching app like Aaptiv or Apple Fitness, and monitor your progress with a Fitbit or Apple Watch.
- You want to get in shape: you just need to get 30 minutes of exercise a day
- You want to save money: track what you’re spending with the Mint app, which lets you create a budget and view expenses by category.
Share your resolutions in the comments, if you’d like!