Is Your New Year’s Resolution Failing?
“Resolution” has become a scary word to me. I’ve made lots of resolutions that didn’t last beyond the first week of January. I recently learned there’s even an official day— January 17— called “Ditch the New Year’s Resolutions Day” and that statistically, by January 12, many people have already given up on the resolutions they planned to commit to for the year.
In the past I’ve planned to make lots of big changes— but what happens when we don’t follow through on the changes we resolve to do? Defeat, discouragement, relapse. So I’ve been thinking through how to make change stick, and I’ve decided to instead embrace shifts- little changes over time that can add up to a bigger impact in our day-to-day lives.
Instead Let’s Shift
In 2018 I’ll be sharing one shift towards improved health each month. The goal here is to pace myself and my family with realistic small changes and be able to look back at this year knowing that we kept moving along the path of greater wellness step by step.
The thing is, I actually do want to make all these changes at once. I want to be the person who does all these things consistently, but the reality is that a lot of them are not habitual yet and sometimes it’s so hard just to get out of bed in the morning.
Thinking you might like to do the same? Read on for twelve shifts you could consider in 2018- now that we’re through resolution season but you still feel the need for change.
1. Start purchasing one thing that you regularly from a local business or WAHM (work at home mom). You’ll be moving your money to supporting someone you know, or a part of your community. Often times you’ll find you actually like the product or service much better!
2. What would you do with seven extra hours per week? Shift your daily schedule— for example, go to bed one hour earlier, and get up one hour earlier— use this “extra hour” in the morning to devote to something you care about- your quiet time, your business, reading, or just starting each day with a quiet cup of coffee.
3. Drink more water. Start with one extra glass per day. Or fill up a water bottle each morning and drink it all before lunch. Refill and drink it all before dinner. Set yourself up to succeed.
4. Start saying “no thanks” to sugar. Any amount less sugar will be good for your body. Sometimes cutting all sugar seems to daunting— it feels too much like a resolution. But you could just start by declining sugar when offered— in your coffee, for example, or when it’s time for dessert.
5. Decrease the amount of time you spend on your phone. One way to do this is to identify a time of day that you habitually spend on your phone and start consciously putting it away at this time. For us it’s bed time— a quick check on my phone at bed time often turns into an hour of scrolling that cuts into the sleep I know I’ll feel so desperate for by the morning. Research has also shown that exposure to blue light emitted by screens in the evening hours before bed time inhibits melatonin production, interrupting our natural sleep rhythms and contributing to difficulty falling asleep and insomnia.
6. Go outside, every day. Even better, move your body while outside. Walk, jog, dig in the garden or play at the park with your kids.
7. Replace household cleaners with eco- and family-friendly products. Not sure why this might be necessary? Research the impact of chemicals in your home and
8. Start donating monthly to an organization you are passionate about. Don’t know where to donate? Start by doing some research— what’s happening in your community? Who is doing work that you feel compelled to support? Can you donate time? Leadership? Finances? Material goods? Skills?
9. Purge a room, or an area of a room, or one drawer. Breathe a deep sigh of relief. Moving physical clutter out of your life makes room for mental clarity.
10. Call someone you were about to text.
11. Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails and turn off notifications. Turn down the volume on all the voices that are fighting for your attention.
12. Listen to your self talk, either out loud or in your mind. Is there a phrase or thought you habitually say to or about yourself that is negative? Try to be conscious of changing that thought to a positive statement. Create a set of life affirmations and put them up where you will read them every day. Change the script of your life and see your life change.
Small Movements Make Big Changes
The idea of making one shift per month is that the changes you wish to make in your life become paced. Hopefully at the end of the month the change has become integrated into your lifestyle in a way that you don’t have to spend much mental energy focusing on— and you can move on to a new change. New habits form. Your home is transformed. Your way of thinking begins to shift. At the end of the year, you notice major changes have taken place and stayed in place— avoiding the discouraging yo-yo effects of resolutions that don’t stick.
Which life shift would you like to make this month?