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How To Create New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Keep

How To Create New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Keep

Year after year, millions of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions, but most of them do not stick. By setting ourselves up for failure, we create traditional goal-oriented resolutions that don’t help us get clear on who we want to be or shine light on how we want to show up for others in our life, our career, and for ourselves. By focusing on the person we want to be at the end of 2017 and achievable weekly steps, we can finally design New Year’s Resolutions with ease and embody them on a daily basis.

I found this out three years ago when I first started setting New Year’s Resolutions. I designed goals for multiple areas of my life including my career, my relationships, and my self-care. Despite my efforts, I quickly learned that goal-oriented resolutions set us up for failure, self-judgement, and frustration. My resolutions became obstacles to my growth and a regular source for my inner critic to feed off of.

Rather than starting at a goal of getting a certain raise at work, for example, successful resolutions come from being clear on who we want to be and how we want to show up in our everyday interactions. Once I got clear on who I wanted to be, I was able to uncover what I truly wanted to create in my life. Here’s how you can start designing New Year’s resolutions that will stick:

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1. Start With How You Want To Feel In 2017

The book The Desire Map, by author and inspirational speaker Danielle La Porte and based on the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, was a game-changer for me. She emphasizes the importance of understanding how you want to feel in your life. By focusing on how I want to feel each year, I get clear on what I really want.

To do this, take out a journal to write, or close your eyes and follow your imagination through meditation. Imagine that December 31, 2017 is going to be your best day of your best year to date. Reflect on the following question:

How do I want to feel on this best day? Energized? Inspired? Thoughtful?

Keep asking yourself the question for some time to connect with the feeling and listen to what you hear yourself say. Write down the first feelings that come up. Looking at your list, circle the ones that feel most true to you.

2. Imagine Who You Would Need To Be

One of the keys to completing resolutions is to understand the kind of person you need to be to follow through. This is more than not procrastinating or keeping good time management, for example. Traditional productivity practices fall short because they merely manage goals rather than bring them to life. In order to follow through on resolutions, we must know the experience of the achievement.

With your mind in December 31, 2017, again through writing in a journal or by closing your eyes in meditation, imagine who would you need to be if you felt these feelings? For example, if you want to feel energized, what qualities would you leave behind in a room if people were asked to describe you? Would you go running several times a week to stoke your energy? Eat differently? Pick up that childhood hobby you dropped 10 years ago? Who would you need to be to feel what you want to feel at the end of 2017? Write down a list of what comes to your mind.

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3. Choose 1-3 Goals To Create This Feeling

By focusing on just 1-3 annual goals, you will set yourself up for success. With goals connected to who you want to be at the end of 2017, you’ll feel motivated to follow through with a clear understanding of how your goals that will help you become the person you want to be. Taking what you wrote down from the first two steps, complete a brain-dump for the goals you would need to fulfill.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and write down every goal that comes to your mind. Take a five minute break and step away from your list. Return and set a timer for 10 minutes again. Ask yourself the question: what 1-3 goals are game-changers and would have the most impact to create the December 31, 2017 I imagined? Circle these goals.

4. Identify Small Steps To Take On A Weekly Basis

To ensure your goals do not become a someday in the future concept, identify small steps you can take now. Limit yourself to the span of the next seven days and then repeat this reflection each week. Small consistent steps build momentum for huge change. And because your resolutions are now oriented around who you want to be at the end of 2017, you will slowly modify your mindset and behavior.

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Looking at the goals that you circled, consider what 1-3 steps you can do in the next seven days that take less than 30 minutes to complete. It’s important to create realistic, achievable goals. Putting a limit on the number of steps to complete, and the time to complete them will set you up for success. Put the steps you identified in your weekly to-do list/calendar and schedule. Repeat this practice on a weekly basis to build incremental success.

5. Acknowledge Your Success

Our minds are trained to look for problems. While this problem-solving mindset can be helpful under certain circumstances, it often stops us from following through on our goals. This creates a scarcity mindset, as our minds focus on what we have yet to accomplish, or what went wrong in our follow-through.

By acknowledging what you have completed, you gather momentum to keep going. Acknowledgement fuels your ability to keep positive commitments. So take five minutes at the end of each day or week to acknowledge what you have done. What actions did you take? What feelings did you honor? You can reflect on these mentally or write them down.

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More by this author

Marci Moberg

Mindfulness and Transformation Expert

How to Love Yourself More How To Create New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Keep

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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