How to Finally Keep Your New Year Resolutions

So you know how it goes. A new year starts and you race to make the most dramatic resolutions ever. I wrote this post last year about how the new year doesn't mean YOU're new, it just means the calendar changed date. I'm all for fresh starts- every Monday, every month, every payday- but at some point, you need to stop your dreaming and get realistic about how to go from point A (you now) to point B (the you, you aspire to be).

The first step really is- chill. No, you don't need to start a diet on January 1st, it's okay for your budget to start after your next pay check, you can start waking up at 6am on the first day of work, you can join the gym on february 1st, you can write the first 1000 words of your novel after you've recovered from staying up too many days in a row over the holidays. IT IS OKAY. I find that too many times, we set ourselves up to fail by starting new things on tough days- you want to stop eating carbs and sugar on the day that your auntie is coming to yours with her famous chocolate cheesecake that you eat once a year- it's not realistic. You want to start a novel on the day that you and your friends are going trampolining and then having dinner- why?

The second step is - also chill- no, I'm joking, well, kind of.  Trying to jump from zero to tatty billion is not a smart thing to do.  You're not going to gorge yourself for a whole month and instantly switch to green tea and salad (GT & S ammiright?) if green tea and salad wasn't your status quo before the holidays.  You want to go from not working out since July to two hours in the gym everyday- probably not going to happen mate!

So why don't you start with setting yourself up to succeed- why don't you try snack free days, why dont you start with walking? Why not start with saving 20 percent of your salary instead of half? - why dont you set yourself easy targets that you're likely to meet? the impact on your brain would make you stop feeling like you're incapable of achieving anything. You are probably not going to finish duolingo and get fairly fluent in french in January.

The third step is- set tiny targets that you can measure- 100 words, 3 hours of exercise a week, not eating sugar one day a week; I find it easier to set the large goal and not measure every step- so last year, I set a goal to read 50 books (finished at 82), and tracked every book on goodreads but didn't try and make sure it was 1 a week- there were weeks where I didn't read anything and that flexibility made it easier to stay on track. So you might want to write 5 thousand words a month- you don't necessarily have to have a fixed number for every day- but by all means, do if it works for you. 

The thing about setting goals is that you have to anticipate failure or flagging and then plan for it. If you want to start eating more fruits and vegetables, make it was easy as possible for yourself, which could be a smoothie, or always having it in your line of sight and obviously- buying more fruit and vegetables.  It is important to account for possible failure- we all have the capacity to succeed but we also have the capacity to sabotage our own goals, we're only human. When we set resolutions as if we can't fail, when we fail, we give up. 

Take a second look at your resolutions. Are they in line with the person that you know you are? or did you make them for the version of yourself you haven't met? Ultra-stylish, speedy, always with a witty comeback, limitless you? 

If you adjust your goals, you might get to the meet the other you at some point- corny but true :)