If you took my advice to heart last month, you ditched those old New Year’s resolutions that never worked. Instead, you made some great new resolutions based on the right whys, and you gave yourself permission to take time for your own self-care. But now, just over a month into 2016, you’ve got a ton of things to do and you can feel the impending resolution crash.
We start the year bursting with determination and diving into behavior change. But it doesn’t take long for the roar of life to come thundering back. Buy special food? Complete five workouts a week? What were we thinking? We suddenly recognize that our resolution plan may have been more grounded this year, but it was still crazy ambitious and will never work.
Hold that thought. This is not the time to give up. Actually, it’s the perfect time to make a small course correction that will make a long-term difference.
Why Resolutions Crash So Quickly
Think about it: The holidays are famously filled with fun, stress, eating, drinking, family pressures and time off work – and then more eating, drinking and stress. We enjoy it all up to a point, and then we go past that point. We feel sluggish, tired and maybe a little depressed and mad at ourselves
So we’re determined to get it right in the new year. But the problem is, we make our resolutions while we are in a bubble of gluttony, disgust and fantasy. Trapped in this bubble, feeling an intense desire to escape our current bodies, eating habits and selves, we are filled with determination and willpower to change everything.
But then, we’re forced to make those changes in the real world. After only a few weeks, everyday life is back: unexpected needs, busy schedules, family crises and not enough sleep. We feel overwhelmed by – and even resentful of – the resolutions we were so excited about and committed to on Jan. 1.
Why Now Is the Time
This month, most people throw in their resolution towels. But what many don’t know is that now is actually the perfect time to become successful and stick to their resolutions. Think of it this way: You haven’t spent the past few weeks “failing” to execute your plan, you’ve spent your time gathering valuable data on what really works for you.
For example, did you like the spinning class you started? Does the food your new eating plan requires feel satisfying – or punishing? By reflecting on your answers to these types of questions, you’ll be gaining insight into what will and won’t work for you in real life. Then, you can use those insights to tweak your plan so it’s more in line with your personal reality.
- Reflect the real you.
- Feel good.
- Are enjoyable.
- Are realistic.
- Are adjustable in the face of time constraints and life’s curveballs.
Take this quiz for a personalized report about how you can recalibrate your resolutions and prevail in 2016. And remember: Be compassionate with yourself during this learning process – research shows it’s a much more motivational strategy than the alternative: negative self-judgment.