At the turn of the new year, how did you set out to be a better you in 2022? By the time you’re reading this, it’s possible you may already be off to a slow start. Here are a few times to keeping you on track.
Start with a mind check
One of the leading reasons so many resolutions aren’t maintained is that there’s a difference between thinking you should do something, and being mentally prepared to make that change. Do you have the fortitude to get back with the program when unexpected events or exhaustion get in the way? Half-hearted attempts usually backfire. If find you’re not really ready to pursue an ambitious goal, consider switching to something that seems like a better fit to start off.
Plan carefully, and realistically
In close coordination with the last point, be realistic with your plan and the tradeoffs it may require to work. If you’re looking to devote an hour to exercise multiple times a week, consider where that hour will come from in your existing schedule. And it is good practice to specifically designate that time, or risk quickly neglecting it due to ineffective integration into your daily routine. An effective plan is also one that allows for emergencies and necessary adjustments. Over time, you’ll learn what those common adjustments will be and can decide how strict you need to be. While the plan should hold you accountable for slacking off, having to reschedule one evening’s activity because you spontaneously met up with friends also shouldn’t send you into a self-defeating tailspin.
Make it fun
If the plan starts ruining spontaneous fun in your life, you’ll start resenting it, and that’s not likely to stay effective for much longer. But also, look for ways to integrate fun as a motivator into your routine. Perhaps you secretly love a terrible reality TV show — you could make exercise time the only time you allow yourself to watch it. Or maybe each month of staying on track triggers a “treat yourself” reward like that overpriced latte. All of this revolves on the honor system, but so does the entire resolution, so who says you can’t use that for a positive motivator?
Use apps and peers to guide your quest
Technology is here to make your changed habits easier to track than ever. If you’re looking to run or bike more, track stats from each trip in Strava. If it’s meditation or relaxation you need, try Headspace or Calm. Better sleep? Sleep Cycle is your friend. If it’s journaling, try Five Minute Journal. Not only do these apps provide content and improve your process, but seeing the records of your daily progress can be very motivating to continue on. Some of these provide the opportunity to share your progress with a friend or on social media, which is another great way to hold yourself accountable. In fact, asking a friend to be your goal buddy is one of the best ways to keep yourself honest. Each time they check in, you’ll be reminded of how you’re really doing, even if it’s tempting to embellish.