Another year, another set of resolutions! I’m sure the internet will be awash with suggestions as to what you should be pledging this year. Thank goodness we have you to tell us how to run our lives, Internet!
New years resolutions are a funny thing. More often than not, they take the following formula:
“I will stop doing [insert thing you actually enjoy]”
How inspiring! Not.
If that sounds like your resolution, then by consequence of design, you’re setting yourself up for either
1) misery by denying yourself something you find pleasurable…. or
2) guaranteed failure; and the subsequent misery you’re sure to endure upon feeling like you’ve failed!
Last year, I decided to STOP making resolutions that banned me from doing things that I enjoyed doing. Instead I chose only to ban myself from doing things that already made me miserable. For example, I resolved to “stop weighing myself on scales because they make me irrational and weight obsessed”. This was a damn lot easier than banning myself from pleasurable things, so much so I would encourage you to go forth and try this out for yourselves!
Last year I also decided to try and make my resolutions positive little things. By applying this logic, it made me happy just thinking them up! If it made me happy just to think them, then I was pretty certain that doing the actual positive resolution itself was going to make me feel like glittery rainbows of joy were radiating from every pore. Well, they certainly felt nice, anyway!
Example: in 2014 I resolved to find joy and gratitude in things, and worry less about what others think of me (positive resolutions). Positive, impactful, and easy to apply to both big and small situations.
And so, closely following piece of advice #1 about not denying yourself things you actually enjoy when formulating resolutions, my SECOND plea about choosing your resolutions in 2015 is to make them sparkly and POSITIVE! Even if it’s to tone up or lose a stone- frame it positively, when you finally decide upon it. It will feel instantly more achievable, and not like horrendous punishment from day 1. Example that gets our approval “I will eat protein and steamed veggies for evening meals on Monday to Friday” rather than “I will stop eating pizza and take-aways every night after work”. A tiny tweak and healthy dinners are already sounding more delicious and do-able.
Ok. So far I have essentially told you what I did in 2014 and what worked. This is not quite in the spirit brand new, shiny, fresh-out-the-packet advice for your 2015- although I stand by applying tried and tested formulas that seem to work! I think, if I have any piece of new advice that propels you smiling, happy and joyfully into 2015, then it’s this:
Make your resolutions REALISTIC, ACHIEVABLE, and SUSTAINABLE.
This is a blog that promotes Health, Fitness and Happiness. I’m assuming you’re possibly interested in improving your life in one, if not all, of these areas. So your resolutions (if I may be so bold as to assume) possibly centre around becoming healthier, fitter or happier in 2015? Well then…
Make them easy.
Make them something you can work into your life.
Don’t make them a fight against yourself.
You want them to become normal, everyday habits. If you make them unachievable, then you’re setting yourself up to perceive you’ve failed, which leads to feeling shitty, which leads to a big ol’ tub of icecream and a load of negative thoughts about what you can achieve.
DO NOT make them something you will get bored of, miserable by doing, or something that will mentally scar you to the point you shy away from ever attempting anything similar again. If you don’t own a pair of trainers, and you sign up for the London Marathon, I will hunt you down, and I will shoulder-shake you for playing silly beggars. Trust me.
Habits, or in this case, resolutions, take an average of 66 days to feel like they are normal, and you’re not putting yourself out. That takes us into March, ladies. Remember this and go easy on yourselves.
If you keep your resolution positive, and make sure it’s not stopping an enjoyable thing, then you’re half way there. If you make it achievable, make it do-able then you are going to be walkin’ around like a proud little, resolution-achieving pigeon by the time 2016 peeps its head round the corner.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t aim high. You want to run a marathon? Good on you! Then you take baby steps. You resolve to buy trainers, go on a 15 minute run on 2nd Jan, sign up for a 5k race in March, a 10k in May, a half in September and a marathon in November. Then you strutt yo’ marathon achievin’ ass to that 26.2 finish line and you do a little victory dance, my friend.
Advice here will always be about just being true to yourself, and being kind to yourself too. We are all individuals, and every one of us is pretty incredible. You are alive- thinking, achieving, loved by people, and you show love, care and kindness to people on a daily basis. You are on the right track just with that, ok?