Let it be known that I’m a new year’s resolution keeping wizard.
Two years ago, I resolved to read the Bible every day and finish it in a year. I did it.
Last year, I resolved to write one page in my journal every day. I did it.
And this year, I resolved to exercise for 30 minutes every day. And I’m doing it.
There are several keys I’ve discovered to making these things happen. One, is to keep the goal specific and daily, not big picture. I could break down a goal of “losing weight” into specific strategies, but my heart is still set on the goal. If I don’t see the results right away, like if I’m exercising every day and not losing weight, I start to think the goal is unattainable. But by making the goal the strategy itself, i.e. 30 minutes of yoga every day, my focus is always on the here and now. I don’t worry about tomorrow or where this is headed. As long as I do today, I’m a success. And then I find that the long term goal gets accomplished anyway.
2. I make the resolution a daily thing, but don’t carve out a specific time for it. For me, I start to stress if one day I sleep in and can’t make my daily resolution happen at the assigned time. Instead, I observe my day, notice where I have pockets of time, and fill them in. For example, I noticed that after I put the kids to nap, I was spending a lot of time on my computer to unwind and refocus on thesis work. I decided to make exercising my unwinding. But sometimes browsing interior design blogs just feels better. So I exercise as soon as I get home from work. Or as soon as I get to the bf’s house. Transition periods work well to add in new activities, because I often waste time there anyways.
3. I give myself some, but not too much flexibility for skipping. Some days it just doesn’t matter how hard I try. I just don’t have 30 minutes. That’s ok. I do as much as I can–maybe 10, 15 minutes, and then tack on the rest of the time to the following day. And maybe I can only tack on 5 minutes to the next day. So then I tack on another five to the day after that. And so on, until the original day’s 30 minutes are completed. That might seem like overkill, but it helps this perfectionist feel better about taking a day off when she needs to.
Anyways, that’s what I’ve learned so far. If you have any other tips, share them in the comments! Always looking to self-improve.