Setting New Year's Resolutions



It’s VERY common lately...and honestly within the past few years...to see anti-resolutions around this time of year. You’ve likely seen an encouragement of many people to set New Year’s Intentions as opposed to resolutions. Maybe you’ve seen people out-right condone any and all resolutions.


AND I’ll be honest. I was ONE of them. In MANY cases, I don’t think resolutions for the new year are very effective.


However, as I got to thinking about WHY that is, I realized that it’s not the fact that resolutions are being set, but actually because of the types of resolutions being chosen.


Typical resolutions stem from quick, short term fixes...but often applied to very long-term goals.


Whole30 diet to heal a relationship with food

Avoiding social gatherings to pay off your debt

30-day yoga challenge to heal one’s anxiety and/or depression

Pay it forward challenge to feel like a good person and do a good deed


There are two common themes with these resolutions above


1. The ACTION is short-term and unsustainable

2. The CAUSE is long-term


Here’s the thing...New Year’s Resolutions DO work for many people. Many people are very goal driven. Many do find that setting a “do this” goal on a certain date works.


After this year especially, there has been a LOT of stress. A lot of pent up energy. A lot of “get through it”. A lot of “just start then”. And honestly, I get that and I am even somewhat in that category.


In an ideal world, sure, we wouldn’t need some arbitrary January 1 date to see results and start making change.


BUT if 2020...and the first 8 days of 2021 has given any indication, this isn’t an ideal world.


The biggest point here I hope I am making is that it’s okay to set resolutions!


I’ll refer to my favorite phrase:


The science is in the compliance!


Meaning what YOU can comply to is what is most important. If that includes setting a January 1 start date towards making progress and seeing results, I’m all for it.


This blog article is going to teach you how to make more realistic New Year’s Resolutions, how to track and measure that progress, and what to do if you’re NOT a resolutions-driven person.


So without further ado, let’s get into it.


SHOULD YOU SET RESOLUTIONS?


This is the big question.


Generally speaking, I see two different types of clients: the Type A goal- & result-driven clients and the less Type A and more free and go with the flow type.


My first type of clients wants goals. They want hard deadlines. They’re going to usually set monthly check up calls with me to make sure we’re on track and ready to go. We usually re-evaluate these goals every 2-3 months.


Honestly, it comes down to you and what your intuition & gut are telling you.


A couple of questions to ask yourself


Have you set New Years Resolutions before? If so, did you succeed at them or did you fail? If you failed, then there’s a chance resolutions might not be the best for you OR you need to revamp the types of resolutions you’re making. If you succeeded, then resolutions may be right for you!


Have you set the SAME resolutions before? If you have set the same resolutions before—think “weight loss”, Whole30, “eat healthy”, “go to the gym more” save money, etc.—and you failed within 4-8 weeks, then there’s a strong chance resolutions


Do you get stressed at deadlines & rules? I am stubborn...like really stubborn. Often, if someone tells me to do X, I will either not do it or do it somewhat differently so I have more of a say. I don’t know why. It’s just me. BUT hard deadlines and resolutions don’t work for me because I will try and find loopholes. If you’re like me or you have enough on your plate that setting ANOTHER deadline is going to be overwhelming, resolutions just continue and reaffirm that line of thinking and you’re likely setting yourself up for failure.


Do you enjoy flexibility and freedom to adjust? If so, intentions are likely a better route for you. Note that even if you are a resolution-setter, you need to remain open-minded for adjustments.


Have you had a tough year and need some external factor to get yourself in gear? Then a resolution might be a good idea for you!


SO by now you should have an idea if you like setting resolutions or not. Now keep reading for how to set resolutions OR intentions OR something different.


TYPE OF RESOLUTIONS


There are generally two types of “goal setting” scenarios: resolutions and intentions.


Resolutions are for our more Type A individuals that

Like goal setting

Like timelines

Need direction and oomph

Generally thrive more off of motivation

Had a tough year and need something to change (even if it’s just a number going from 2020 à 2021)

Can set realistic goals with realistic timelines


Intentions, on the other hand, are for our other type of individuals that

Aren’t driven by deadlines

Overwhelmed by goals

Are habit & discipline-driven

Focus more on quality & overall lifestyle regardless of timeline, etc.

Don’t like being told what to do

Already live a high-paced, stressful lifestyle

Repeatedly fail New Years Resolutions


It’s also okay to be a little of both.


The difference in setting them is simply the definition. If you want to set a goal to lose weight, a resolution could be “lose X lbs in X timeline through X actions/habits,” and an intention could be “I intend to walk daily & increase my protein intake” or “I intend to hire a coach or professional to guide me along the way.” There’s not much difference in the two besides the wording.


Now, let’s talk about setting resolutions & intentions and some things to keep in mind.


KEEP RESOLUTIONS REALISTIC!


MANY people’s New Years resolutions DO work. I know many clients that start with me January 1 and hang on with me for an entire year and make it last for years to come...so again the problem isn’t the goals themselves but the timeline of them.


The actions you’re putting in place have to match the goals you’re setting. The goals are fine, but the timeline & actions/habits in place must be realistic, measurable, and trackable.


Let’s reference the few examples I mentioned earlier:

Whole30 diet to heal a relationship with food

Avoiding social gatherings to pay off your debt

30-day yoga challenge to heal one’s anxiety and/or depression

Pay it forward challenge to feel like a good person and do a good deed


None of these ACTIONS are sustainable in the timeline that you’re setting.


Whole30 lasts 30 days. Your relationship with food took 20+ years to develop. It’s going to take at least a full year if not longer. Healing a relationship with food isn’t about the food itself, it’s about your mindset. Losing 10lbs of water weight doesn’t heal anything. It’s temporary relief from a longer-term problem.


Avoiding social gatherings will save you money but at what cost. Loneliness, lack of community, etc. aren’t worth the few $$ you’re going to save. Instead, cutting back on unnecessary expenses and focusing on small adjustments/month is the better solution. You’ll still see your friends BUT not at the cost of your sanity.


I love yoga. I love meditation. I love journaling. I love all these things. AND they can likely help one’s anxiety and/or depression or any form of mental health, but it’s likely you need more OR just longer than 30 days. A podcast I was recently listening to said this, “If you’re doing all the lifestyle-driven things—meditation, journaling, yoga, etc.—and you’re still struggling, then a professional is likely your best help. Commit instead to therapy for an entire year.


Paying it forward feels good. It feels good to give. IF, however, your financial situation doesn’t allow it, this isn’t sustainable. There are other ways to GIVE. You can give your time to a friend or to a local shelter or a cause you support. You could give your services. You could give words of support & thanks. What if you committed yourself to daily words of affirmation, thanks, or love to someone? This could be a stranger or a friend. What if out of the blue, your best friend sends you a text? “Hey! I want to tell you that I seriously appreciate you as a friend and really grateful this universe brought us together.” Imagine how you’d feel. Pay it forward. It’s free & just as effective as a cup of coffee.


TRACKING & MEASURING YOUR PROGRESS


Lastly, tracking & measuring your progress is important.


Habit trackers, accountability partners, self-accountability, etc. are all important tools to track and ensure you’re continuing your actions towards your goals.


Refer back to goals & resolutions & intentions you’ve set before. If they failed, it LIKELY was righhhhhht after motivation subsided and it wasn’t as exciting. Maybe you forgot a few days here and there then just said “why bother.”


Motivation WILL subside, which is why it’s so crucial to have some form of tracking, measuring and/or accountability to get you PAST that point.


I recently made a post & graphic on setting habits in place, so I won’t dive in much detail here.


Habit trackers could be putting marbles in a jar for when you do the 2-3 habits in place to achieve your goal. A personal favorite is depositing $5 in a jar for when you do each habit & then in 2-3 months treating yourself with the money you’ve saved.


Accountability could be hiring a coach or owe a friend $100 at the end of your 2-3 month window if you don’t achieve your goal.


One form of self-accountability is to set a prize at the end of your timeline (that likely should be >3 months). This should be a prize that gets the blood pumping and really makes you 100% all in. Say you’ve wanted to take a trip. Don’t go on the trip if you don’t achieve your goals. I have 2 tattoos on my arm that were ONLY done because I doubled my income & client base that year. I’d wanted those tattoos for years and setting THAT as the prize made it happen even when I didn’t want to.


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So there you have it.


What goals & resolutions will you be setting this year?


How will you go about it?


What will you track and measure?


What will you reward yourself with?


One way to ensure all of your goals are met this year is by hiring a coach. To work with me or my team of amazing coaches, apply here.



Resources and Coaching:

Online Coaching here.

[Free] Nutrition Guide here.

Recipe & Macro Guide here.

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