How many times has New Years rolled around and our resolutions are the same as last year’s?

Be more healthy. Drink less. Arrive early to meetings. Sleep more. Exercise more.

Sure, the first few days, few weeks, we’re sailing. We’re on that new beginnings high.

We lace up those new sneakers we just got for Christmas and put on those new leggings and play that new song on the radio with that new gym pass.

But, the novelty tends to wear off.

Around that time, we forget our self-care promises and turn to the stress-relievers of everyday life—wine at promptly 5pm, chocolate binges, the “I don’t have time” excuses (to name a few).

How do we beat this? We know it’s coming: the stuck in a rut stage.

We know that life’s obstacles are going to come into play sooner than later. Instead of blindly entering the New Year with a two-word resolution (Be healthy), let’s instill steps in our routine before we get to the point where our resolutions for this year become our resolutions for next year.

  1. Get Clear- A lot of times our resolutions are vague. Get specific with your resolutions. How do you want to be healthier? How early does arrive early mean? How often is it that you want to “go to the gym?”
  2. Why- Determine why you are making that resolution. Why do you want to lose weight? Will it help you play with your kids after school? Will it help with your high blood pressure? Why do you want to be on time? Will it strengthen friendships? Why do you want to eat healthier? Will it give you more energy? When you figure out why you want something, it’ll be easier to hold that goal and image in mind. I will eat healthier so I can have more energy to play with my kids. I will be on time so my friends know that I value them and their schedules just as much as my own.
  3. Make It Present- This is a small step. Instead of saying, “I want” in your resolution, change it to you “will” or you “are.” Instead of saying it as something that you don’t possess, change your language as if it something you have already accomplished. I am eating healthier. Or, I will go to the gym; not I want to go to the gym. This small change in language will help you feel more empowered not less.
  4. Schedule- Don’t let it be optional! Plan going to the gym as a mandatory meeting with yourself that you can’t reschedule. Write it in your planner. “Gym- 7:30 am” If you had a meeting with an important client at 7:30 am you wouldn’t skip it and sleep in. Value yourself as much you value others. If your resolution is to eat healthier, plan a time to go grocery shopping and write a list of the healthy ingredients needed to prepare a meal. This scheduling will help you from feeling like you don’t have the time!
  5. Replace- Most of our resolutions stem from our negative habits. Well, it’s safe to say when one bad habit is changed, another quickly takes its place. A good example is giving up alcohol. Many people who try to quit alcohol or limit their intake replace it with sugar. However, sugar is an awful habit as well. Try thinking of what you can you replace one bad habit with. Maybe if you’re giving up chocolate, make the decision that every time you crave it you’re going to make yourself some cacao tea! If you want to limit your Netflix bingeing, buy a good book that you can turn to when you want to escape!

Remember, life is a learning curve. If you miss the gym one day, don’t throw in the towel. You can always start again. You can always choose again. Happy New Year!