We make them every year right? And sooner or later, (usually sooner), we lose steam and the New Year’s resolution gets, well, not forgotten exactly, but tucked away to the back of our mind, intentionally, after we’ve acknowledged we failed and we’ve given up on the whole idea.

Now, I am notorious for giving up on things. I get really excited about new plans, I start digging in, and then I lose focus, or it gets too hard is more like it, and I lose my resolve. I’m pretty good at letting myself off the hook of actually doing the task too, but I am an extra harsh self reproacher emotionally. I call myself a failure, I focus on all that I didn’t accomplish, and then I wallow in some self pity that, let’s be real, is not seriving anyone, especially myself. Clearly, this is a lose-lose scenario.

You feel me?

So! Here’s 3 ways I’ve found to better stick to my resolutions AND avoid beating myself up mentally (which my reproached self thanks my resourceful self for finding)

3 steps

1- Bite size bits will get you full eventually:

baby eating

Don’t hold yourself to a really high standard out the gate. If you’re anything like me, you’re setting yourself up for failure. When we try to take on something new, it takes energy and effort to even emotionally commit to the idea. So start out small so that you can feel good about meeting your new goal, then grow it after you’ve accomplished some success and you can trust yourself to take on more.

EXAMPLE: If you’re goal this year like mine is to meditate daily, don’t hold yourself to 30 minutes everyday, 7 days a week. Start with 3, or 5 minutes for 5 days a week. It may seem insignificant, but in terms of health value, the experts say it is significant., plus it is significant in terms of establishing a new consistent practice, which is what you need to grow to meditating 30 minutes a day.

2- Be realistic about your how:

working out

Anyone who knows me well know I am not a morning person. I mention this in my MEET JEN section on my website, because it is a personality trait that I have tried to change, ignore, or reset my circadian rhythm to address, but alas, I just do not do well in the morning. I am slow to rise, and I am pretty cranky for about an hour after I’m up.

I’ve tried to exercise first thing in the morning, meditate first thing in the morning, or simply be a little more chipper(!) in the morning. Though I do believe change is possible for everyone if you want it and commit to it, the reality is: I don’t care enough to change.

The idea of exercise to start my idea sounds so wonderful (to the me that’s already been awake for a few hours) but in the mornings, it sounds like a ridiculous idea that is offensive to my person. Like, “really, you think jolting my body with exercise right now sounds sensible and healthy? Sounds like a insulting shock to my system.”

child yawn

Or I’ll consider, my morning meditation, the alternative to morning exercise: I wake up groggy, get out of bed and then close my eyes to relax and focus on breathing for an extended amount of time. '“I’ve just sent myself back to sleep in a different room in an uncomfortable position”, great plan Jen.

So admit to yourself where you can meet yourself in the middle. I know I can make myself exercise when I build it into breaking up my work day. For me it then becomes a recess from work, and I make sure to attend class where I get to connect with others which I enjoy and also holds me a bit more accountable because it’s become a norm for me to be there. As per mediation, I know I can dedicate 10 minutes post-work day, when Mike will be at the gym. I’ll be home alone, it’ll be quiet, and I won’t feel like I should be getting work done instead.

Assess your daily situation and be honest with yourself about when you’re willing to plug in your New Year’s Resolution activity.

3- Track It:

number one

Reward your efforts by logging your success! Studies show that if you have quantifiable goals, and if you record your progress, you are more likely to be successful. So put it somewhere you can actually see it like in one of the many apps designed to track this stuff for you, or simply write it on your calendar.

You get to take pride in the sight of you accomplishments everytime you view it. It’ll help you keep going, because you’ll want to build onto it, and it’ll help you be aware of the reality of how much you’re sticking to your resolution. If you find you’re not sticking to it, go back to step 2 and consider what adjustments you may need to make in order get yourself in gear.

Remember: Pushing yourself is supposed to feel uncomfortable; Be kind to yourself as you would a friend when miss your mark; You can do it if you want to!