New Year, New You, Resolution Free

Discover why New Year's resolutions fail and learn how to achieve your goals with discipline, habit formation, small goals, and accountability tips.

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Sheri, RN

Head of Nursing Services

In the new year I am going to lose 50 lbs, stop drinking alcohol, quit smoking, drink more water, eat less sugar, pay off my debt, walk every day, meet someone, buy a house….. on and on! These must sound familiar to all of us! I have made the same resolution so many times, and it has yet to be successful, curious what it is?? In the new year, I will be more patient!

Why don’t resolutions work?

Action takes Discipline!

Resolutions are words, just words.

After the new year we feel motivated, I’ll say that again, we FEEL motivated. Motivation is a feeling, an emotion, not an action. Being motivated feels great! But it isn’t constant. Willpower, also an emotion, is hard to sustain. Willpower comes and goes. So how do we live out the desires we have for ourselves? We need discipline, we need to form habits that are different from the normal day to day activity. And it’s possible.

Discipline takes planning. You need goals, both short term and long term. You need to stay connected with yourself, check in with yourself, see how things are going. Whether it’s weight loss, or getting your little one potty trained, you need a plan!

Write out your goals. It’s simple. Just write them down, maybe in order of priority. Maybe you have one goal. Whatever it is, write it down. Put it somewhere visible to you. On the fridge, in a cabinet, leave yourself a note in your lunch each day! But write it down.

Start small. If your goal is to lose 50 lbs, that’s a big goal, it’s going to take time. Start with 5 lbs. It’s 5 lbs less than you were before, and 5 lbs toward your ultimate goal. Waiting to celebrate those 50 lbs, will take time, and you may get discouraged along the way. Set small goals and celebrate those moments. They all matter.

Know your weaknesses. If you know it’s hard to resist that ice cream shop in town, drive home another way. If you have trouble avoiding the cafeteria, don’t bring your wallet into work. If certain people don’t support you the way you need, steer clear of them for a while. Set yourself up for success, and in the beginning, avoiding weakness can be crucial.

Social network of accountability. Having a support person is not a new concept. Surround yourself with people who know you. People who know your weaknesses and strengths. You need people who will pick you up and celebrate with you. A workout buddy, a food prep buddy, find someone who can keep you accountable, but won’t make you feel guilty if you trip along the way.

Falling is not failing. If discipline was easy, it would be called something else. It takes work. You will stumble. You may have a setback. But you have a plan. Bring yourself back to the starting line, remember why you are doing this. Bring in your support people. And celebrate the things you did accomplish. If you lose weight, and gain some back, it’s ok, you still lost weight, you can do it again. If you miss a week of exercise, it’s ok, the gym is still there. If you have a treat, do not lose hope, there’s always tomorrow.

Finding motivation is easy, there are many things I feel motivated about. Gaining discipline takes work.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. — Jim Rohn

Happy New Year!



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