Fully Living

Avoid Failing At Your New Years Resolutions With This #1 Tip

Don’t make any New Years Resolutions!

What?!? That’s right, don’t make any new years resolutions! Why, you may be wondering. And what should you do instead? In this post, I’ll talk about why New Years Resolutions (NYR) don’t always work, what you can do instead if you are feeling the need to make a change and I’ll provide an example of what I’ll be doing here on the blog. If you’re looking for the best way to avoid new years resolution failure keep reading.

Be sure to print off this free goal setting planner to help you create your smart goals!

Why Do New Years Resolutions Fail

Let’s take a look at what a resolution is. According to Google’s dictionary, a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not do something.”

The most popular New Years Resolutions include dieting, exercising, losing weight and saving more/spending less reports Inc.com.

Forbes Magazine states that only 8% stick to their resolutions.

The top reasons why people fail at resolutions is because goals are not clear, people get overwhelmed, discouragement, and not feeling ready to change according to Psychology Today.

When you look at NYR in this light does it sound like something you want to do? Personally, I don’t make any for these reasons:

  • Deciding to do or not do something sounds limiting.
  • The most popular resolutions are not always areas I need to improve.
  • Life usually gets in the way of “do this” and “don’t do that” rules and I probably would be in the 92% that fails.
  • Just because it’s a new year I may not be ready to change. If I’m not ready, my goals are probably vague and I’d get overwhelmed and discouraged because I lack motivation.

Just because the rest of the world jumps on the NYR bandwagon doesn’t mean you have to. As Elsa says “let it go!” and get rid of the pressure to resolve to do something if you’re not feeling up for it.

However, whenever you do feel ready and motivated to make a change, or if you are up for the challenge of sticking to a NYR stick around as I give you tips on the best way to avoid failure.

How To Avoid Failure and Find Success In Making A Change

Before you dive into making a change in your life and before you set out making goals for yourself it’s important to take time to assess and reflect on the thing you’re thinking about implementing.

It can take time to fully clarify what it is that you want to change. After I had my last baby I noticed my baby weight wasn’t coming off as fast as it did with my other kids. I didn’t feel like I looked horrible but I didn’t go out and buy new clothes when the ones I had could fit me. To make that happen I knew I needed to lose the last stubborn 5 pounds. Easy I thought.

I started working out 5 days a week instead of 3. That didn’t work. I thought I’d eat one less dessert. That didn’t work.

It wasn’t until I looked at my eating habits, like finishing my kids lunches on top of my own, grazing from the pantry throughout the day, eating larger portions at meals, and being closer to 40, did I realize I needed to work harder than before.

So I knew I wanted to lose the last of my baby weight but what would that look like?

Answer Your Why

If you have an idea of an area that you want to improve take time to think about why? Understanding your motivation behind something will help you see if you’re up for the challenge or not. If you have the drive to do it you’ll be more successful at it than if you aren’t driven to do it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I really, really want to pursue it.
  • If I do, is it realistic accomplish at this time?
  • Am I willing to accept the “sacrifices” involved to accomplish it –can I give-up certain things?
  • Do I realize it can take time and things can get in the way? Can I be patient with myself instead of getting discouraged with setbacks? Am I willing to keep chipping away at it?
  • Am I committed to doing this?

If you answered yes to most of these questions then that should tell you that you are ready to move on to the next step, formulating a goal. After looking at these questions myself I realized I was more motivated to eat better than losing weight, so I switched my focus to healthy eating. My new focus helped me make my goal.

If you answered no that is okay too. Perhaps you need to dig a little deeper. Perhaps now is not the best time. Perhaps the area you want to change is something you think you should do but really don’t need to. Step away from that “thing” for a bit and come back and revisit it later.

Formulating Goals

As I stated earlier I don’t make resolutions. Instead, I make goals. Usually, I don’t need the calendar to flip to a new year to motivate me to do something. If I want to make a goal in July I start in July, not wait until January 1.

In my work as an Academic Advisor, I used to help students make learning goals at the start of each quarter. As a therapist, I used to write goals for my treatment plans. I used to use the SMART goal method. SMART goals stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. When my students made goals following this method and when I developed treatment plans, the goal itself served as a guide for reaching the objectives.

So what does this look like? Let’s dive in deeper and see what a SMART goal looks like.

I’ll use my “eating healthy” for an example.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

  • Specific-who, what, where, how, why. When creating a goal it should be able answer these question. Asking yourself these questions will help you gauge your motivation, desire, and plan.
    Who is going to eat better, how will you eat better, why do you want to eat better?
  • Measurable-the goal needs to help you see what it is you are working towards. What number are you working towards? How will you know if you are following your goal each day? Having a measurement will help break down the goal into smaller steps too. I want to eat better by having a 1 fruit or 1 vegetable for a morning and afternoon snack.
  • Attainable-Are you able to achieve your goal or is it written in a way that will only set you up for failure. Is it realistic for your life? How logical is it to state I will eat a green salad at every meal vs I will incorporate 1 salad into my lunch  3 days a week.
  • Relevant-Is the goal relevant to your life? Does this goal help you achieve your objective? If you realize you eat too much junk food having an eating healthy goal makes sense. However, if you already follow the food pyramid diet to a T, perhaps having an eating healthy goal is not necessary since you already eat healthily. Because I eat too much junk food I want to eat better by having 1 fruit and 1 vegetable at for a morning and afternoon snack and incorporate 1 salad into my lunch 3 days a week.
  • Timely-Set a timeline for your goal, but also have flexibility with it too. It takes about 3 weeks to make a new skill a habit. It takes time to see results. Life can get in the way, preventing you from following a goal 100% of the time.
    Because I eat too much junk food I want to eat better by having 1 fruit and 1 vegetable for a morning and afternoon snack and incorporate 1 salad into my lunch 3 days a week for 30 days 80% of the time.

Understanding your why helps you focus on what your goals should be and the determination you have behind them. From there creating SMART goals will give you a plan of action to reaching and achieving your goals.

It wasn’t until followed these steps that I was able to develop better eating habits and fit into my old clothes again. This process made the change more meaningful and clear.

Now you give it a try! Download this free SMART Goal Planner printable!

New Focus For Abundant Full Life

I followed this process when thinking of content for this blog.

I enjoy bringing my readers ideas to live frugally. However, I found greater joy when I wrote posts about difficult issues moms face. I love helping others solve problems on a deeper level. It only makes sense given my background in counseling and mental health. They also proved to be the most popular too!

Posts like Conquering The Day After A Sleepless Night and Finding a Mom Village When You Don’t Have One were my biggest ones to date and I got a lot of feedback from my audience. Valuable feedback! It connected me to you and I loved it. So I’m bringing more of that to you!

After some hemming and hawing, prayer and self-reflection I have decided to switch gears and bring you more content on struggles and situations moms experience. These topics will range anywhere from potty training and parenting school-age kids to dealing with self-doubt and loneliness. These posts all have one goal, however, to help you solve a problem or answer questions with a plan and tools. Through that I hope to create a supportive community of other moms that brings joy to mothering our children.

I thank you for taking time to read my blog. I’d love to learn from you too! If you have ideas or feedback, please share. I want to bring you topics that matter to you! I’d love it if you subscribed on the sign-up form on the right sidebar. You can get my latest posts sent to your inbox, and eventually, I hope to bring you some free resources to help you out at home.

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