Making 2019 your best year yet!

Tessa Burns MartinPsychotherapy

Oh no! Not another New Year’s resolution post!!!

New Years resolutions often get a bad reputation because every year on January 1st, people vow to live differently only to forget about their resolution before the end of the month (and for some by the end of the day). It seems that the practice of New Years resolutions dates back to the Babylonians over 4000 years ago and has continued as a tradition to make changes whether to be in favour with the Gods or just to a loved one (for an interesting read on the history of resolutions, click here) However, it seems we are starting new traditions of breaking resolutions leading to the topic of New Years resolutions feeling like an empty conversation. So how do you have more success in 2019:

  1. Have a strategy: Most people make their resolutions as lofty plans but do not have an executable strategy. For example, if you want to quit drinking in 2019, it is not simply making the decision. Create a plan about what you will be doing instead, who you can turn to for support, what happens when you get off-track. The more details you have to your plan, the more likely you will be to succeed.
  2. Break it down into manageable chunks: If you make a goal, there needs to be an executable step you can take every day. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, start with the small step of using your FitBit to get 10,000 steps (or less if that does not feel manageable). In order to maintain momentum, you have to experience success. If you can’t break it down into steps that you know you will be successful at, then your goal is probably too large. Don’t worry about making a step too small because success is contagious and you will continue to grow off that step.
  3. Get your body into it: Have you ever watched a motivation speaker? They always play loud music that gets you up out of your chair, dancing and getting the blood flowing. It’s not because they are fun- it’s because they understand that for you to feel motivated, your body needs to be motivated. If your body is in a place of rest, or even anxiety, your decisions will build from that place. However, if you have ever been to a motivational speaker and wondered why you don’t maintain momentum after you leave, it’s because your body changed states after leaving the event and gets back into your normal. The easiest fix to start to change your body’s state to increase motivation is to have a theme song to go with your current goal. With that song, any time that you start to doubt your progress or yourself, you can put on your song and remind yourself that you can do it. My current favourite that I have downloaded is the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman (visit Spotify to download)

With your strategy, your small goals, and your theme song, you have the start towards your success. But don’t worry if you get off-track. It is common to have an off-day and lose track of your success on your way to change. Catch yourself when you notice that you are starting to get off-track. Pick the easiest thing you can do to get back on track (like play your theme song). This is why your strategy is so important so that you can refer back to it. Refrain from judgment because we are all susceptible to setbacks. You can ask yourself what did I learn from this setback but do not criticize or even come up with excuses. Reset and get back on the plan.

Some small steps you can take get you back on track include:

  • Put on your gym clothes, even if you don’t intend to go to the gym
  • Add one healthy food to your meal (ie. salad with your hamburger)
  • Write in your journal
  • Walk to the mailbox
  • Try one day without drinking
  • Research Meetup groups to find new activities
  • Turn off the TV
  • Set limits on social media

You don’t have to reinvent your life to create your best year yet. Start small, have a strategy and make sure your body is on board.

Reading Recommendation: Dr. Joe Dispenza- Becoming Supernatural (To purchase, click here)

To get support creating your plan for your best 2019, click here to learn more about our Goal-Setting Program.