While new year resolutions can be cliche, there’s something about the clean slate of a new year that gives me room for greater introspection and self reflection. Every year it seems like similar goals are set on my part — eat healthier, work out more, be more productive at my job, spend more time with my family, have more patience with my kids, make more time for friends… Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love setting goals; I love writing lists and crossing things off; I am a self-help book junkie. Recently I started a book called Switch that discussed at length about the conflicting emotional and rational sides of our brain that make permanent change so difficult and it really echoed a lot of cognitive dissonance I’ve been going through lately. My heart may want one thing but my mind may want another. (Even now I’m having to say no to a craving for a cereal snack as I stay up late to edit this blog post!) And so, as I’m working through my own issues, I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped me stick to my resolutions over the years as well as a couple new ones that I’ll be keeping in mind too for this year!
- Find the feeling. Goals are often created as a result of analytical thoughts but the way to really motivate long-lasting change is to appeal to emotion. People’s behaviors change the most when their emotional side is engaged and while I don’t like to go into politics, I think even recent election history has made it evident that emotion can win over rational thought.
- Change your environment. To change yourself, you need to change your habits. Habits tend to change when the environment changes. While sometimes this can be easier said than done (I can’t exactly move out of my house or change jobs realistically), but even small change to your daily situation can be helpful. I recently switched to a standing desk at work and I know that even this small change has helped me make better decisions about prioritizing fitness and health into my busy days.
- Celebrate little goals along the way. Big goals are comprised of small accomplishments and it’s important to celebrate every achievement along the way.
- Lower the bar initially. When first starting out, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. It can be more motivating to stick with a resolution when you’ve had some initial success, so at least in the beginning, set a smaller goal that’s easier to achieve.
- Expect failure. Making big changes isn’t easy so don’t expect to be perfect. I’ve learned to be ok with accepting that there will be failure along the way but it doesn’t mean that the resolution itself will result in failure.
I’ve been keeping these tips in my mind and they’ve been significantly helpful in getting my fitness back in shape after having been a little too lax about it over the holidays. I’ve reminded myself of how strong and empowered I feel when I make time to fit in exercise. I’ve made a point to change up my environment too and have sought out different workout studios and ventured outside whenever the weather permits too. And of course, having cute workout clothes certainly motivates too! I recently discovered Salto and have loved their collection of chic activewear that takes me from the gym to the street! This open-back top is perfect for showing off a cute strappy bra and I’ve been so impressed with how well it stays dry and wicks off sweat. When it comes to workout bottoms, I’ve been obsessed with mesh paneling in my leggings and love that this capri pair was petite friendly and stopped perfectly mid-calf. Moreover the wide 3-inch waistband was just what I needed to keep my mommy tummy in check! Salto donates 10% of net profits to Look Good Feel Better, a public service organization that teaches beauty and skin care to cancer patients. Salto is truly a line that combines creating clothes that look good with the feeling of doing good and supporting a cause that’s bigger than you.
And while I’ve certainly had days where I’ve slipped up and made mistakes, I remind myself that it’s ok and move on. Sometimes my emotional urges get the best of me and I may stress eat when I’m feeling overwhelmed at work, but I remind myself of the both the rational reasonings as well as emotional motivations behind why I’m choosing to commit to a fit lifestyle. Change isn’t easy but at least being aware of how to face the struggles that arise will help in getting you closer to your goal!
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! Let me know what tips you have for sticking with your resolutions!
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