We’ve all been there: it’s December 31, and we’re excitedly sharing our New Year’s resolutions with our friends and family. We have elaborate plans and big ideas. Flash forward another year, and we’ve realized our goals haven’t been put into motion. We feel defeated, frustrated, and upset with ourselves.
I see this all the time in my naturopathic practice, and I believe it stems from setting unrealistic goals without a specific or attainable action plan.
When we make health-related goals, it’s important to create boundaries for ourselves but include a little wiggle-room. Being too rigid can feel constraining, and often leads us to give up on our resolutions all-together.
Sticking to new year’s resolutions involve setting measurable goals, and holding yourself accountable. Here are my top tips on how to set and stick to this year’s plans:
AVOID AN ALL-OR-NOTHING APPROACH
Expecting perfectionism is a recipe for feeling frustrated and defeated. In fact, you don’t need to be ‘perfect’ to see improvements in your life, or progress with your goals. Determine attainable actions that act as the stepping stones to achieving your goal, and see how you can weave them into your life.
2. BE REALISTIC
Create a timeline of your goals, and schedule them into your calendar. Be realistic with your dates; give yourself extra time to avoid feeling stressed and burnt-out. Remember, the goal is to create sustainable, long-term lifestyle changes in regards to health, and this means being realistic and gentle with the pressure and expectations you place on yourself.
3. SHARE YOUR GOALS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Create an accountability group; meet every few weeks and check in on each other’s progress. This will keep you feeling motivated and inspired to continue working towards your goals, and you may be surprised at how it helps you put your plans into motion sooner versus later.
Written by Dr. Marita Schauch