During this time of year there is a big emphasis on setting goals and “bettering” ourselves. Sayings like “new year, new you” are everywhere. People are setting aggressive money saving, weight loss, dietary, or workout goals. I’ve seen a lot of people on social media saying thing to the gist of.. “2018 was a terrible a year, but here I come 2019. I’m going to turn it all around.”
As much as I love goals and focusing on how to bring more intentional design to our lives, new years resolutions aren’t the way we successfully shift our lives.
Here are some harrowing statistics..
One study showed that people who start a diet on a Monday will have gone “off diet” by Tuesday evening.
Business Insider claimed that 80% of all new years resolutions fail by February.
The statistics go on and on like this…
These aren’t hopeful …
So instead of engaging in something we know doesn’t work for most people, what can you do to actually make 2019 one of the best of your life?
Most of us have broken promises to ourselves much more than we have kept promises to ourselves. What would happen if you had a friend who said they would meet you for coffee at specific date and time and kept either no-showing to the date or making up last minute excuses? You probably wouldn’t trust them. Same goes with ourselves.
When we tell ourselves we’re going to loose weight or save money or change our diet or do more exciting things and we just continue to do the same things we’ve always done, we start to break trust with ourselves. We stop trusting ourselves.
Then when we set big goals that involve intensive changes to the status quo it’s only a few days or at most a few weeks before we break our promise and go back to our old ways.
Think about it this way..you’re not going to go on a week long trip to Mexico with your friend who keeps no-showing on you for coffee and you’re not going to trust yourself to eat “clean” and work out every day when you’re not even able to wake up an hour earlier each morning.
So what we need to do is build trust with ourselves in small ways. We need to go for the low hanging fruit. We need to make small changes that are relatively easy and build up from there. The daily habits. This isn’t a sexy proposition, as most people want to make big sweeping changes and see big sweeping results.. but big sweeping results are built from small, steady, consistent daily habits.
I don’t want to completely disregard goal setting, so I do strongly encourage you to set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals for one, three and five years in the future. These an adjust and change as our lives and desires do, but we should always have a plan for where we’re headed if we want to live an intentional, consciously created life.
However, the most important thing to do during this time of year when we’ve got all the fresh, new year energy is to choose five daily habits you know would make you feel better right now, in this moment.
We don’t want to focus on what we want to change as that is heavy and brings into focus how far we’ve got to go. Not a very motivating thought. But we do want to think about what could we do right now that would make us feel better, right now. That feels doable and empowering. Then make those actions daily habits by committing each one for 30 days before adding the new one.
Here are some examples of daily habits I’ve used this method with.
Drink half your body weight in ounces (eg if you weight 200 pounds you would drink 100 ounces of water) in filtered water each day.
Consistently take my supplements.
Add green veggies to every meal
Meditate for 20 minutes each morning (this could be 5 minutes if you’re new to mindfulness).
Sweat each day
Spend one hour undistracted with your partner or kids in the evening
Stop work at 6pm
These daily habits are what is going to build a foundation upon which you trust yourself and keep your own promises to yourself.
So what are is the first daily habit you’re going to adopt this new year?