I am so excited to welcome you to my New Year’s Resolution Challenge! I’m thrilled that you’re interested in making a resolution in the new year and keeping it!
I set out with a New Year’s Resolution last year and it changed my life completely. I want that same thing for you! Whatever your resolution is, I’m sure you can see it through!
Ok, so let’s get started!
I hope you already have your resolution picked out. If not, no worries. Go here to check out how to narrow it down.
The key to keeping a resolution is to turn it into a habit, something that you do every day or at regular intervals. But how do we do that?
How to form a habit that sticks
1. Make it visible
Make sure that this new habit that you want to start is right in front of you. It’s something that you can see every day.
2. Make it attractive
Make it something that you enjoy doing, something that’s fun.
3. Make it easy
Make it as easy and convenient as possible. You won’t want to do something if it requires a lot more work than what you are used to, so make it easy.
4. Make it satisfying
Make it feel good. Even if it’s just checking it off the list every morning. Find a way to fill fulfilled by it. Consider joining a group where your desired behavior is the norm. Most people would rather go with the group than do their own thing. So it’s important to surround yourself with people who have your desired habit.
I always have these big, giant, change the world type of ideas. I don’t want to just start walking twice a week. I want to lose 100lbs in a month. But it’s important that we stick with things that are realistic and that are doable for us.
It’s so much easier to start small and build up to something bigger. We rely on our daily systems, our habits and routines. When we change these routines drastically, we end up failing more times than not. The reason for that is we fall to the level of our daily system. In order to change this, we have to build a daily system that reinforces our new habits.
So, instead of saying I’m going to go from not exercising at all to running 10 miles every day, we start small, with something more manageable. Something like finding a couch to 5k in a month plan. That’s way more doable and way easier.
There is a great book called Atomic Habits by James Clear that talks a lot more about this concept of building habits. Check it out here
Just one more thing
I know that 31 days is a long time to wait for all of the tips to form your new habit, so I have put all of them together in a book. If you can’t wait to get them, like me, you can get them all here right now! There is a link below.
Knowing why you are making this new change is important, crucial even. There’s going to come a point where you’re trying to do this new thing and you just don’t feel like it and it stinks and you hate it already. (I hope you aren’t there yet… it’s still early.) In these moments you have 2 choices: 1) you can quit, like you have so many times before OR 2) you can hunker down and keep going even though you no longer want to.
In these times, you start looking for a reason… WHY AM I DOING THIS??
This is especially true if giving up sugar or coffee is involved in your resolution. If it is, I feel you. I am so there too. Even if it’s not, you are probably still asking yourself WHY?
It’s important to think about why right now before you get to that spot. Because I guarantee you it’s a whole lot easier to think about it now and figure it out than it will be when you are on the verge of quitting and can’t think of one reason to keep going to save your life.
How to figure out your why
Think about the person that you want to be, the person who already does this thing that you have resolved to do. Think about what your life will be like when you are doing this thing every day. Think about the impact that it will have on your life and the impact that it will have on the lives of the people around you or of anyone that it will touch.
That is your why. That’s your reason for making this change. When you focus on the new you that you are creating, the results will come.
When you find that why write it down. Put it in a place that is visible, that you can see every day, like your bathroom mirror or your front door. Remember it’s there every time you start to waver.
Download my How to Find Your Why worksheet here
Day 3! Here we go!!
Have a plan for when you start to feel weak in your resolution
Having a plan is so important, even if it is just a rough plan. It will help so much to know what you are going to do before you have to make a choice in the moment.
Let me tell you a story… Every time I want to start eating healthier I make the commitment. Then I get to work and start thinking about lunch. I have this habit of ordering lunch from my favorite restaurant. It’s a habit and it’s what I like. When I get hungry and I’m having a bad day (or any day really) I start to have this argument in my head. I start going back and forth about what I am going to do and back and forth. It turns into a huge mess in my head.
I usually get so frustrated that I end up sticking to what I usually do, what I want to do (order the food that’s not so good for me) and telling myself I’ll start again tomorrow.
When you don’t have a plan you will end up choosing your old habit every time.
The 5 Second Rule
Mel Robbins has an amazing technique to help you make the choices you want to make. It’s called the 5 Second Rule. Her theory is that you only have 5 seconds to make the decision that you want to make before your brain starts fighting with you. 5 seconds. 5 seconds before you revert to your old habit. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that if you make the decision to do the new thing in 5 seconds you can change the habit. So, basically don’t think about it. When you start to waver, recognize what’s going on and “5, 4, 3, 2, 1… (make the decision to do the new thing).” Don’t get into that argument with yourself.
The second part of it is you have to take some action for your decision. An example would be, if your resolution is to eat healthy, when you get into a space of wavering on that decision you should think “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and then get up and get a glass of water or take a short walk. Anything to reaffirm your decision.
Have a plan for what to do when you waver
Write down your plan so that you can get to it when you get to that point. Here’s mine:
When I start to waver about what I’m going to eat I’m going to do this:
1. Remember the 5 second rule
2. Make the decision to do the new thing that you want to do
3. Take some action to do the new thing now!
How’s it going so far?? I hope well! I’m still feeling the excitement of the new year and the new change. I hope you are too!
So let’s talk about day 4 – Let’s Break It Down
One of the best ways to build a habit is to break it down into small, doable steps. Instead of saying “I’m going to exercise for 2 hours every day” because who has time for that or even wants to do that??? There’s always an excuse. It’s either too COLD or too HOT outside. Gyms are gross and crowded and expensive!
Instead, say something else, something easier and more doable.
Say “I’m going to take the stairs at work this week instead of riding the elevator.”
“I’m going to park farther out in the parking lot instead of right up front at the store.”
“I’m going to go for a 10-minute walk after dinner every day this week.”
Just hard enough
Once you have accomplished one week of that small goal, ratchet it up to something a little bit harder. Make sure that your goal is just hard enough for you to accomplish.
You don’t want it to be too easy. If it is too easy it won’t be any fun and you won’t see any progress. You also don’t want it to be too hard. If it’s too hard, then you won’t want to do it at all. It will feel impossible. You want it to be just hard enough.
Remember that consistency counts for a lot. The more you do this new thing that you want to do, the easier it will get. So keep it going!!