As you can see from the title, this is not a ‘Let’s Set New Year’s Resolutions’ blog. This year I simply can’t face resolutions, or the guilt I’ll feel on breaking them. So I’ve decided to change things up in 2015, do away with resolutions and focus on longer term goals instead! ‘Cause I know from experience, when it comes to resolutions, I will break them. In fact this year, I broke my ‘resolution’ on the 1st of January. That’s got to be a record!
After a fairly festive season with family and friends, I had it in my mind that I would start the New Year with some serious clean eating, 2 weeks of no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no meat. It was the closest I came to a resolution. New Year’s Day came, we were out of town and returned home to no fresh food in the house, none of our healthy restaurants open, and so on and so forth…. So we got woodfired pizza (definitely containing dairy, gluten and probably sugar). And just as the chilly fingers of guilt were creeping up on me, I made a decision to shake them off and be done with ‘resolutions’ in 2015.
That is not to say that I don’t still have things I want to achieve this year. But what I have decided to focus on is simply getting them done when the time is right, as opposed to trying to shove them all into my life as soon as the New Year rolls around.
I know holidays are supposed to be all about rest and relaxation, but sometimes with the kids off school, family get togethers, socialising, travelling and the general business of organising Christmas and New Year’s, you can greet January feeling pretty exhausted. Whoever said “I need a holiday after my holiday” was not wrong! So in the craziness of starting work, or organising the kids new school year, or cleaning up after Christmas, is now the best time to start the resolutions you want to stick? For some people the answer might be yes. You may have the steely dedication and commitment required to start getting up at 5am and heading to the gym, or tossing out all the Christmas left overs and shunning the ½ empty ice cream tub in the freezer (or the bottle of wine in the fridge!). If that is you, then I salute you! You are made of some seriously tough stuff!
But for others, getting up for work in the morning is challenging enough that first week back, rather than setting the alarm for sparrows and slogging it out at the gym before the work day begins. If this is you, then that’s OK too. Let’s just work at some long term goals instead of trying to do everything right now.
What I am thinking of doing this year is focusing on one goal at a time, and more specifically, one a month. But again I am not going to be too strict about this. When implementing new healthy habits, timing is the key (which is possibly why I never really excelled at New Years resolutions). The best way to describe this is by example.
My Goals For 2015
- January- Do a 2-3 week detox, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no meat.
- February- Increase my exercise level- 1 x yoga per week, 1 x personal training, 1 x barre class, 1 x dancing
- March- Invite more people around for dinner, cook more at our place as opposed to going out
- April- Continue learning, develop new skills to help support naturopathy
As you can probably see, if I started doing the detox, exercising, inviting people over and furthering my studies all in the first week of January, I’d probably send myself a bit batty! What I have in mind is focusing on one goal per month, and if that goal seems to be coming along well, I will start focusing on the next one.
For me, January will be about eating clean. And now that I have that in mind, and I have taken the burden of focusing on all those other things off my shoulders, I can plan my detox without stress. After this first week back at work, I’ll start my detox, knowing that during that time it’s common to feel exhausted and not much like exercising. If, by February, I haven’t yet had the time or motivation to look at my exercise and increase it to the level I want, I will do that in this month. And so on and so forth.
I think for me, simply keeping these goals in mind, without beating myself up about doing or not doing them all at once, will make everything more achievable and relaxing. Before my designated focus month, if I want to exercise I will, or if I want to invite people over I will, but I will not feel bad if this doesn’t happen all the time.
They say to form a new habit, you need anywhere from 21-66 days. I think giving each goal a month to focus on will allow that healthy habit to begin forming. And then by the end of the year, I will be happily looking back on my achievements, as opposed to trying to ignore the resolutions I made and broke.
So there you have it. My “No Resolutions 2015”. Have you had a think about what you would like to bring into your life this year?