Motivation

Restart January, Jump Start July with New Resolutions

We are now past the midpoint of the year. We are halfway done 2016!

How has your 2016 been so far? If you are like most, it likely hasn’t been the smoothest and there’s certainly room for some improvement. We are in a transition year: letting go of stagnant or toxic situations, people or things to make room for newer, fresher circumstances to come our way in the year to come.

Let’s think back to January, when we were excited and enthusiastic about our new years resolutions.

How did they turn out so far? Did yours fall off the rails, or did you have some success? The good news is, no matter how they turned out, it’s not too late to revisit them, and  make new ones!

Consider it Restarting January by Jump Starting July

Ideally, we would do a check in with our resolutions at least every 3 months to make adjustments as necessary, however, we can always start from where we are right now and move forward, letting go of past expectations.

Things to Consider to Help New Resolutions Stick

1. Make Checkpoints Your New Resolutions
Sometimes we set a large goal but didn’t think of all the small milestones or checkpoints we will have along the way to get there. My suggestion for jump starting July is to make the checkpoints your new resolutions starting from now. I know when I write many small things on my to do list, crossing them off quickly gives me more motivation to keep going.

This is how we need to approach our new resolutions so we don’t get too overwhelmed by large tasks with no direction. Likely in January, many of us wanted to lose weight, so our resolution was “lose 50lbs” or whatever your goal was. Many of us didn’t make these checklists, so the task felt daunting and we left our plans back in February.

If we change our approach and write down “try a new healthy recipe each week” or “cook more meals at home instead of getting take away”, we can start adjusting our routines and getting excited for new eating habits. We can even add in “exercise three times a week” or “go for a walk on my lunch break”, which would likely turn into more once we got into the new routine.

2. Start Small and Build up to More
The trick is to start small and  master that before building up to more.
I have found the most success by tackling only one change at a time. It’s a slow process, and frustrating at times, but is how to ensure the changes last.

If you are wanting to start exercising more, give yourself a 5 or 10 minute limit, and don’t overdo it. Maxing yourself out at the start will hinder motivation for tomorrow. Increase it by 5 minutes every day, and your body will get used to the routine quickly.

3. Do things You Like
Another thing is to make sure the check points are something you like!
If you hate weight training, but plan to do weight training 3x/week because that’s what the gurus all say to do, it is going to be really hard to get motivated to do it and you’ll stop before the first week is done.

I encountered this with the treadmill. I couldn’t figure out why I could never get the motivation to get on it. After all, 30 minutes – even 15! – is not that much. However, put me in a 60 minute zumba class and I could do it every day.  It’s amazing how much more active I am when I focus on what I do like, rather than what I feel I “should” do. If you are like me….stop “shoulding” on yourself!

4. Start with what You Know
I also start with things not too far out of my comfort zone. Then I can get used to the routines with something familiar and not too awkward. Once I’m in the habit, then I make sure to step it up to challenge myself that bit further. I always take that extra step to challenge myself, but I also am realistic and don’t want to put extra pressure on myself, especially when just starting out!

So take a moment to reflect on 2016 so far.

Here are some tough questions, to help you start to formulate what your new resolutions can look like and what they will ideally be focused around.

  • What has been great about 2016? What hasn’t worked so well?
  • Does what you do everyday make you feel alive and full of energy? Why or why not?
  • Are you getting to properly take care of your physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual health? How? or Why not?
  • Do relationships, including intimate ones, friendships, and work interactions, strengthen your values and bring in good feelings?
  • Do you need to address issues or let some things go?
  • What hobbies would you like to get involved with or do more often? How can you prioritize that in your schedule?
  • What things in your life need to have a higher priority level, and what things can you delegate or let go of?

We have time for what we make time for. The choice really is up to you. Make your new resolutions small and with measurable checkpoints. Make sure they speak to you and are in line with your values and the direction you want your life to go. Enjoy them and have fun with them! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Remember, you can always have this Opportunity again in October, or sooner!

Let me know what your new resolutions are or ideas that you want to pursue. I’d love to hear from you!

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