My daughter needed to write a funny haiku tonight for her homework assignment so I helped her out. Given that resolutions are top of mind right now, and everyone is in full gear to institute big change in their lives, we thought of a funny anecdote to make reference to the fact that little of our resolutions actually stick longer than a few weeks, and sometimes even a few days. Here it is:
New Years goals made /
Diet, exercise and daily change /
But 1/2 french fries back
Don’t think she will win any prizes in her sixth grade class, but we did laugh while writing it.
So what are some ways we can help make our lofty resolutions stick, turn into habit and ultimately change our lives for the better? Here are some suggestions:
1. Be specific and write them down. Here two resolutions that are basically saying the same thing: “be more healthy” and “walk for 10 minutes in the morning before shower.” Which do you think is more actionable and therefore more likely to stick? By telling ourselves exactly how we want to see change in our lives, we are specifically setting goals and changing behavior. So be specific and don’t forget to write them down.
2. Focus on one resolution each week until it becomes habit. Too many resolutions tend to overwhelm us at the beginning with too much change. And when we falter on one of them, we tend to throw up our hands and give up on all of them. The solution? Start slow. Pick the easiest resolution you have, be specific with how the change should be instituted in your life, and focus on only that one new habit for the first week. The second week, pick up on the next resolution and so on. Maybe after 52 weeks, you will have 52 new incredible habits that have changed your life for the better. We outlined some resolutions we suggest for the TTC community here.
3. Have a support team. In this new age of social media, there are plenty of ways to share your experience with others. Not only does this begin to hold yourself accountable, but it forces you to record your daily activities and progress while helping others achieve their goals as well. It’s a win-win. Check out www.myfitnesspal.com as a great online resource and tool to track your progress and share with others that have similar goals.
4. Research the evidence. Something incredible happened to me and my diet. I stumbled upon a documentary called Forks over Knives, watched it once and my life changed over night. Without going into detail here (I promise to blog about this more), it shows the undeniable link between diet and disease associated with meat and diary by comparing the way us Americans eat versus other countries. It was a huge eye-opener for me and now as a family we eat plant-strong. But the point I am trying to make here is not so much about changing your diet, but about how the evidence and studies convinced me to make a drastic change in my life. Seek out books, documentaries, blogs and other reference materials to help convince yourself to institute change.
5. Focus on daily change. It’s easier to institute a new habit every day, rather than every couple of days, believe it or not. Every single day focus on the specific and easy resolution and reward yourself for doing so. This will strengthen feelings of confidence, determination and discipline, which will propel you ever upwards. Away you go!
From all of us at Circle + Bloom, here’s to all your dreams coming true in 2013!