Updated: Feb 12
So, we’re nearing the end of the first month of 2020. The new year, the fresh start, the new decade! And we’re already 1/12th of the way in. Madness! Where did it go?!
For some, that is wonderful news, they began their new year’s resolutions on January 1st, and they’ve been working ever so hard since. For others, and I know you’re definitely out there (probably reading this now), you’re already feeling lost, panicked and demotivated since you’ve not really stuck to your resolutions.
Maybe it’s to eat better, go to the gym or even to read more. I see you, I hear you and believe me… I totally feel you. I’m currently in that situation. Almost every year of my life (except one) I either didn’t have set resolutions so I began the year feeling like nothing major would change (even if I would’ve liked it to) OR I had a clear resolution in mind but NO idea how to execute it. You can probably guess what happened next cue audience “ahuh!” I began a classic cycle of negative self-talk, comfort in my old routine which encouraged major resistance to trying to build new habits, and a big ol’ dramatic throw in of the symbolic towel (and physical if we count the sweaty gym ones).
I was done! Who needs the resolutions! I don’t need a new year to make a change, how about I just start tomorrow… I say as I am a bottle of wine deep and eating ice cream at 10pm on a weekday. Yep too easy... I’ll wake up at 6am, sign up for boot camp classes five days a week and never consume sugar, fat, carbs, meat, dairy, gluten or anything of the sort ever again!
I think you can see where I’m going with this. A bit of a cycle perhaps? A burst of motivation, either a no-plan approach or a taking on too much at once approach, the realisation that it’s harder than you thought to keep that motivation when you haven’t got the structure or discipline, the self-pity party, and finally the crash and burn ending back to comfort zone- population: you.
Enough I say! If you resonate with any of that extremely-common-to-the-point-it’s-almost-cliché talk about cycles then I highly recommend the following tips for getting back on track and starting (not tomorrow, the start of next week or when it’s convenient) NOW.
First thing is first… you need to know what you need. Self-awareness is the key to getting started with almost everything. To actually find a goal that’s right for you then you need to grab a hot beverage, sit down with yourself, and have that long conversation (journaling works well) about what/where and why you’re lacking happiness.
For example (and I think this may be the most common for resolutioners), “I’m unhappy with my weight and I want to change that”. It has been proven that having a goal that fulfils a deeper level in relation to your life works a hell of a lot better than a superficial goal. “What do you mean Hannah?” I’m glad you asked. Trying to lose weight so that you are skinnier is not enough of a goal to keep you going. If you start running 5km every day to be smaller you will start to question and resent why you did this in the first place, and the cycle continues. Wanting to lose weight to feel stronger, fitter and happier however… now THAT’s a goal. Choose a goal that is something you need in your life that fulfils a deeper meaning, and will keep you going.
Next tip is to start small. Yes, small. Taking on a routine of waking up at 5am, doing yoga first thing when you get out of bed, meditating and journaling for an hour would be an ideal and fantastic way to start your day. Yes, there are also real people out there that do this every single day. But if you are new to all of this, the important thing to remember is that these people started somewhere like you. They didn’t just leap out of bed one day and never look back. You need to be realistic in your goal setting and pursuing. If you currently don’t exercise at all, then beginning an intensive training regimen is not going to be very sustainable. A few months ago, I had no idea how to begin so I decided ok, let’s go small but committed. I decided I would wake up every day at 7am and do five minutes of the spin bike in my house (definitely untouched before this point).
I had the option to do a 30min yoga or strength session after the bike- God bless free Youtube videos! But I didn’t have to. All I promised myself was the bike. 9/10 times once I had finished on the bike my body was warm; my heart was pumping and I was motivated to go through with another work out! Magic! It’s almost like tricking yourself into doing more. Believe me, it works. I now stay on the bike for 10mins without feeling like I’ll collapse and that progress is truthfully better than seeing a number going down on a scale.
After you have a daily small, achievable goal… WRITE IT DOWN! Stick it up in your room/bathroom/kitchen. Remind yourself every day that you are here for yourself to show up and stick to the plan.
Here’s a few things to remember along the way once you have your goal outlined and fool proof…
This won’t be easy
I know as well as you that sticking to a resolution/ new goal after the shiny novelty of starting fresh has worn off is not the most fun. You will definitely not want to get out of bed, avoid uber eats, want to pick up that book instead of your phone, or even have those tough conversations when you’re working on your relationships. We are creatures of habit, gross feelings come up when we are attempting to broaden our horizons. It’s an evolutionary thing. The unknown is TERRIFYING, therefore try nothing new because it could end up by you being eaten by a snake (or so our cavemen ancestors think).
I promise you, those feelings will subside eventually. The mental chatter will die down. It takes 21 days to make a habit. That’s why at HappinessCo we have the 21 day challenges, so that after 21 days of realisation, goal setting/ achieving and being held accountable by others going through similar journeys, you will form habits that will stick with you and if you keep practising them, become a part of your life forever. So, pick a small goal to do every day for 21 days and reflect at the end! A little challenge for yourself.
Also, speaking of being held accountable… Tell someone!
Cannot. Recommend. This. Enough. But I don’t mean tell your whole family/ social circle. Even just trusting one close friend who may be able to help you stay on track, or talk to when you are going through the hard emotions that come with change is such a beneficial tool to have and will help you to persevere by reminding you why you’re doing what you’re doing.
This isn’t junior soccer and not everyone gets a participation trophy. You shouldn’t plan a reward for things you haven’t done to achieve your goals, but on the flip side you should pause and have a moment to congratulate yourself for achieving a goal no matter how small. You’ll then be acknowledging that inner child that craves the love and recognition that they deserve for working hard. It builds self-confidence and trust within yourself.
And lastly, be patient!
I remember this great saying “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”. You might feel a little low if you don’t see or feel results from your journey. Remember, good quality takes time and eventually all your hard work will show up in results and you will reap the benefits. But for goodness sake! Love yourself! You don’t need immediate results to prove anything, or that you are succeeding. You’re doing that already when you show up for yourself every day and keep that promise to working towards your new goal.
I hope this helped those who are ready to continue their resolutions no matter how far into the year it is. You have got this! Plan your work and work your plan. You will begin to feel much happier, healthier and full of abundance. If you are interested in our programs to get you kick started into self-motivation and discipline then I highly recommend checking out/ subscribing to our socials to learn more and receive updates. I am wishing you all the very best for this upcoming year. 2020 is the year of getting things done. Smash your goals, I’ll be right there with you!
Love & Light,
Happiness Co Blogger