A New Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's ResolutionsWith the New Year quickly approaching, have you decided on a New Year’s Resolution? Are you aiming to lose weight, commit to an exercise program, lower your level of stress or spend more quality time with loved ones? Many of us are setting goals to strive for better physical and mental health. Will this year’s efforts be any different from the last? Why is it that new-found determination often wilts to weak momentum by the end of January?

Almost 90% of what we do daily results from habit, making old habits hard to break and new habits hard to form. From the moment we wake up, we barely think about decisions made throughout the course of the day. For example, have you ever woken up, showered and gotten dressed; just to arrive at work wondering…how did I get here? Your entire morning carried on almost without your input. We have so many daily, ritualistic habits so firmly implanted, that it takes little conscious effort to maneuver through our day. We barely need to think at all. Basically, many of us live our lives in cruise control.

Albert Einstein said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Meaning, we can’t successfully achieve our New Year’s resolutions without first changing our usual approach. Neglect this step and expect…more of the same. Instead, take a hold of the steering wheel and take yourself off cruise control!

Here are some areas that many of us find some deeply rooted habits worth questioning:

Nutrition/Healthy Eating: What are you fueling yourself with and why? The way we eat, reasons why we eat, food choices we make are all habits engraved over time. Many of these habits may have led to an unhealthy relationship with food where we find ourselves eating out of boredom, to battle fatigue or as a coping mechanism to avoid negative feelings. The amounts of food we eat, what we drink, or the choices we make are all practices that we have formed over time. Are any of your eating habits worth breaking?

Fitness: While you may regularly be working out, is your workout…working? Are you doing the same routine with little results or is exercise something that regularly gets bounced off your “to-do” list?

Personal/Professional Development/Relationships/Stress: Take a look at your daily schedule and level of stress. Are you consistently overworking yourself, leaving little time for family and friends? Are you ignoring your passions? Sure you’re getting your errands, chores and responsibilities done…but are you forgetting to take time for your own self-care? If your current routine continues to keep you stressed, overcommitted, overwhelmed and unsatisfied…is that something you want to continue?

Once you’ve identified where the problem is, start by making one simple change, which will set off a chain of events for success! Drastic change is temporary and hard to stick with so start small. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! While a complete overhaul may seem necessary, the changes are often short-lived because they haven’t been easily incorporated into your lifestyle and mindset.

These old, unhealthy habits harm our physical, mental and emotional health, yet without an awareness of what we’re doing, we continue with these habits and wonder why we may slowly find ourselves overweight, unfit, and unfulfilled. So what can you do to finally make a New Year’s Resolution last this year?

• Start by taking a look at your current thoughts and behaviors
• Investigate your daily routine that has become all too familiar
• Decide what’s working and what’s not
• Determine what demands change
• Start making changes in the areas most important to you

This New Year, make just one resolution- to stop making the same frustrating resolutions! Free yourself. This New Year, commit to making new healthy habits slowly, steadily and finally!