At the end of December, I graduated from college and could not have been more excited to have more “time” on my hands. I could finally make it to the gym, have time to make dinner every night, and take better general care of myself.
Reality hit me hard very quickly.
I may not have been taking 18 credits and working full time, but I now had two jobs plus being a mama (so that makes three). Time is still not on my side, so my new year’s goals, admittedly, have suffered. These goals, like for many people, reside in the health and wellness sphere. Juggling all of that while making sure that I am eating healthy enough to get all the micronutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle is an endeavor in itself.
By this time of year, most people have lost the enthusiasm they had when they were with friends counting down the seconds to ring in the new year. It’s only natural.
Setting new year’s goals we can keep is difficult. We get back into the swing of everyday life and self care falls to the wayside. In addition to other tips out there on the web — like asking specific questions to define your goals — here are my tips to help resurface the commitment to yourself that you had at the beginning of the year. They take a bit of a different perspective than the usual “Just do it” standards that have become common to give you that extra motivation.
Make a Vision Board
If you are a visual person, vision boards are perfect for you and the effort it takes to create the board will resonate with you for a while. If you have any old magazines, newspapers, even books you’d be willing to take apart lying around, sift through them and cut out pictures and quotes that reflect the goal you are attempting to achieve and create a collage with them. Not only is this very creative but it is a successful form of motivation.
Write it Out
For those of us who are typically detail-oriented, nothing gets done without a plan set in place. Sit down and create a plan of attack. How are you going to achieve this goal? What are you going to do daily to make sure that it is achieved? Spell out the what, when, where, why, and how of it all.
Then print it out and put it somewhere you will see it daily. Also add the details and times, if this applies, to your calendars.
For me, that means my Google calendar that sends me notifications and my physical calendar at home. Constant reminders are key. Set notifications to be sent to you daily or weekly while at work or once you get off during those times when you know you’re going to be craving a cigarette or want to stop at that fast food restaurant on the way home.
Try the Buddy System
There’s nothing quite like someone you know in your ear reminding you how badly you want and deserve to achieve this goal. Even something as simple as a call every two weeks within the buddy system is shown to increase the likelihood of staying on track by 78%.
Most of us know someone who is right there with us and feeling a little discouraged, so why not buddy up? There are also countless support groups at gyms, and tons of message boards and forums online with people right there with you attempting to quit a bad habit or focus on healthier living.
Keep it Positive
Write positive, helpful notes to yourself. Yup, I said it: notes to yourself. It sounds silly but it is effective and helpful.
Take sticky notes and write out reasons why this new goal is important to you and place them in places that you will see every day. They could be as simple as stating the actual goal and placing them in places you see daily or could be things like, “because I want to be able to keep up with the kids,” placed on the refrigerator door or, “Summertime in my little yellow polkadot bikini!” on your bathroom mirror.
Place them in places that you see every day — your car visor, bedside table, a note in your wallet, on the cupboards. Remember to keep them positive. Who doesn’t love a little extra motivation? Make a few of them affirmations as well, like “Because I am worth it,” or “Yellow looks great on me,” or simply, “I am remarkable and I deserve the best.”
You are remarkable and you do deserve the best — even though we all sometimes forget it because life becomes too busy. In the crazy connected world we live in, everything moves so quickly and seems so urgent that there seems to be no time for self care. In reality, this thinking is very backwards. Without proper health and wellness, your mind and body are operating on less-than-excellent conditions, leaving you fatigued and, in some cases, depressed. Time to return to your earlier new year’s enthusiasm and revitalize those wellness goals with determination, support, and a positive attitude.