Fody’s Guide to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions
You write it down on January 1st, or perhaps you whisper it to yourself in the mirror. Your New Year’s resolution. The habit that’s going to change it all. If you’re familiar with that process, chances are you’re also familiar with the feeling that typically rolls around in February or March. Disappointment? Frustration? We’ve all been there. The fact is, New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep for a reason: most of the time, they’re not realistic! If you want to make a positive change this year, here are some tips on how to keep New Year’s Resolutions.
Don’t Go Overboard on Your New Year’s Resolutions!
Let’s start with the obvious: don’t go nuts! A major obstacle for keeping your New Year’s Resolutions is setting too many at once.
We get it, we get it. New Year’s is an exciting time, it’s a fresh start when anything feels possible. But that’s the catch: just because doing it all may be possible doesn’t mean it’s realistic in your everyday life. Sure, we believe that all have the same 24 hours in a day as our favorite celebrities, influencers and entrepreneurs; but do we really? Writing a novel, improving your gut health, training to run a marathon and learning a new language may not seem like much as you write it down on January 1st; but when you factor in everyday life–family, friends, commutes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, bills, work–suddenly that window is a lot smaller.
Already feeling stressed by the amount of goals you’ve set for yourself? That’s probably not a good sign for the coming year. Sit down, relax, and get ready to cross some items off your list. By sticking to just a few, you’ll be much more likely to keep your New Year’s resolutions.
How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions? Think Small.
You heard that right: think small. It’s certainly not glamorous advice, but it works. In this case, “think small” doesn’t mean you have to set small goals: quite the opposite! In order to achieve your most grandiose resolutions, you need to break them down into manageable chunks.
You’ve probably heard about SMART goals; now, it’s time for SMART resolutions. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to improve your gut health, you’ve got a great goal: but what exactly does it mean? How will you stick to it? Using the SMART framework, you can figure out how to turn a broad and intimidating goal into a series of steps.
For example, if better gut health means more energy, or fewer symptoms or flare-ups, write that down: your goal is now measurable. Is it achievable? In this case, you could learn more about gut health and explore gut-friendly products in order to understand where you could make lifestyle tweaks to favor your digestive system. By using the SMART system, you can break even your most ambitious goals into bite-sized steps and understand how they fit into your life. Need a place to start setting SMART goals for your digestive health? Check out this meal plan guide, and visit our recipes for more ideas!
Choose New Year’s Themes, Not Resolutions
Finally, our last secret for how to keep New Year’s resolutions: ditch the resolutions altogether! We’re not saying ditch self-improvement or your goals, and definitely don’t ditch your dreams; but if you find that your resolutions fall through year after year, it might be time to re-think what a resolution means, and what sticking to a resolution means.
New Year’s themes are a sort of anti-resolution. To understand them, it’s important to first rethink how we define progress. A resolution is usually a set of tasks we must do every day (e.g. exercise every day), or a broad goal we have to reach (e.g. learn to play piano). The upside of resolutions done right is that they help us improve in concrete ways; the downside is that when we miss a day or deadline, or just lapse for a bit, we often feel like we have failed, and that’s the end of it.
New Year’s themes involve picking a common thread that will wind through the coming year. For example, instead of setting a New Year’s resolution to eat a clean diet every single day, you might set a theme of “wellness”. Or instead of setting a resolution to journal every day, you could choose the themes of mindfulness or reflection. This allows you to incorporate flexibility into your goals, and it doesn’t leave you with a sense of failure if you miss a day or two. It also allows you to decide what your goal means to you–wellness could mean eating a gut friendly diet and getting enough exercise, but it could also mean meditation, healthy boundaries, enough sleep, or spending time on hobbies. And it can mean all those things at once! Finally, remember: how you treat yourself is more important than mastering how to keep New Year’s resolutions.
No matter how you pick your New Year’s resolution, we hope it will make you feel good and keep you motivated through 2023 and beyond! From all of us at Fody, Happy New Year!