Lifestyle Change Instead of Just a Resolution
Go From Resolution to Lifestyle Change
As we’ve discussed, many resolutions fail. We’ve all experienced the excitement of setting a new intention, only to have it fizzle out over the next several weeks or months. I’ve shared with you some ways to fight this tendency and to overcome it by setting SMART goals. I’ve also given you a number of tips for maintaining your motivation. In today’s blog post, I want to share one of the most impactful strategies I know for staying on track with your desires. Let’s talk about ways to go from resolution to lifestyle change. Implementing new habits into your life can lead to lasting change. This approach is far more effective in the long run.
To create habits that last take baby steps toward your goals. This philosophy should be applied across several different areas.
First, be sure to choose only a couple resolutions to start with. One or two is reasonable. I always tend to shoot for too many and get overwhelmed. But I have better success when I focus on just a couple. You can always add more once you get those first ones going. This helps to keep things manageable and lets you focus on what’s really important to you.
Also, remain realistic. Shoot for small changes that you can incorporate into your daily life relatively easily. You can build upon these changes to create more impactful and larger habits gradually. Doing so will increase your chances of making them stick.
Know yourself and don’t be afraid to get real honest about your challenges. Acknowledge and confront your weaknesses. This will help you to overcome them when implementing lifestyle change.
For example, I know that I find it way too easy to allow myself to stay up long past my planned bedtime. Sleep is very important to me, so when I’ve stayed up too late, I end up compromising on the time I had planned to allow for my morning jumpstart routine and set the alarm for an abbreviated morning routine. If I’m serious about my new morning routine, I have to acknowledge my tendency to stay up too late and discipline myself to get to bed earlier.
It’s also important to recognize your triggers if you want to crush your old, harmful habits and replace them with new ones. When we feel vulnerable or insecure, we’re more likely to revert to what’s comfortable for us. Recognizing that pattern is essential to breaking it.
In order to make habits stick, you have to cut yourself some slack when you backslide and allow yourself some fun, as well. If you force yourself to keep going hard-core 24/7 toward that lofty goal is only going to lead to burnout. It’s imperative that you find a balance that works for you. It needs to keep you motivated and feeling satisfied with your progress. But you may also need leeway to take a break in order to rejuvenate yourself.
When trying to make a new habit, try to do at least something toward that habit each day for at least the first 30 days or you’ll make it harder on yourself than necessary. But an example of allowing yourself leeway while still taking a break would be to exercise for just 5 minutes on a day you’re not feeling so great instead of your usual planned workout. You’re still exercising to keep the habit going, but allowing your body the rest it needs. Or perhaps you substitute a stretching routine for your cardio on a day when you’re feeling under the weather. At the very least, consciously acknowledge that you are intentionally choosing to skip the habit for the day.
These are some suggestions to get you started toward changing your mindset from facing one overwhelming resolution to making a number of small changes that lead to the creation of habits for life. Once you incorporate these new habits into your daily routine on a regular basis, you’ll soon wonder how you ever managed to get by without them. This lifestyle change approach will help you get much better results in the long run.