Christmas has come and gone yet again and here we are in that land of limbo the week before the start of the New Year. For most of us, vacation mode is in full swing and any healthy routines that are normally practiced on any normal day are thrown out the window. Most people tend to throw in the towel this week and say that they will start up or get back into their good habits after the stroke of 12:01 AM on New Years Eve. We all have that nagging voice in the back of our mind reminding us what we need to work on in order to have a healthy and successful year in 2014 and we all have the best of intentions of tackling these resolutions every year. So why do they never seem to last the entire year (or for some of us never get started) and how can you use these next couple of days before New Years to ensure your well intended resolution turns into something more than just a “resolution”? In the next four days I will be posting the top 4 ways in which we all kill our resolutions every year and simple solutions to help ensure that this year is different. Starting today with …..
Resolution killer number 1:
Relying on motivation
Relying purely motivation is a set up for failure. The problem with motivation is that is comes in waves. There are definite peaks and valleys to motivation. When you are at the top of a motivation peak, you may sit down and write 5 chapters of the book you have been wanting to complete, send out 20 resumes for that new job you are longing for or go out for an hour long walk and you feel amazing while doing it. But then comes the days when all you want to do is lay on the couch and watch reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” all day long and the last thing you want to do is pop open that laptop to write paragraph, answer one email or put on your walking shoes because the thought of walking an hour fills you with a sense of dread.
On the days when the couch and TV are calling your name it is time to lower the expectations of your abilities. Thinking that you are “have to” take an hour-long walk since that was your resolution can seem very over whelming. Set your bar a little lower on these days. Instead of mustering up the motivation to complete an hour-long walk, just put on your walking shoes and aim for a 10-minute walk instead. Yes- something is better than nothing. It is still a step in the right direction. Allow yourself to be flexible with your goals when motivation is absent. And don’t wait for motivation to strike to make the first move, because it never does. Be proactive and lower your expectations to accommodate your motivation level for the day. Remember, every journey begins with a single step forward.