New Year’s Resolutions are a lot like 3M strips: Dazzling in concept, but hard to make them stick in reality. There’s a part of each of us — powered by Pinterest – that wants to get organized, eat less sugar, exercise more, and generally just be more likeable and attractive than we are in our natural states. Humans aren’t quite that malleable, though, and change doesn’t come as easily as we like to think at the New Year. If a fitness resolution is on your list of self-improvements, here are five tips for creating goals and making them stick:
1. Tackle one task at a time: It’s tempting to sit down on New Year’s Day and make a list of all the things you don’t like about your life and yourself. Resist. That will only set you up for failure, and it’s not very nice. Rather, if you’re feeling unsatisfied, resolve to be your best self this year, and tackle one change at a time. Good goal: Make it to one HIIT class a week, for 8 weeks.
2. Take your time: Scientists say it takes almost a month to turn a change into a sustainable habit. Some things, especially those than involve substances such as nicotine, alcohol or caffeine, take much longer. If you want to establish an exercise routine, start slowly and give yourself plenty of time. Good Goal: Take Booty Barre twice a week for one month.
3. Be good to yourself: It’s great to use the turning of the calendar (or any time) for reflection. There’s a difference though, between reflection and self-criticism. Your ego won’t let you sustain a resolution made out of meanness, so be careful where you’re coming from. Ask yourself if a resolution will bring you peace, joy, and self-acceptance. If not, find a new one. Good Goal: Get to Yoga once a week for six weeks.
4. Expect to fall off: We build self-esteem when we set a goal and see it through. Perfection doesn’t have a place in that equation. Leave room for errors, and create check-points for yourself along the way to reflect and re-evaluate. Good Goal: Go to OULA on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one month; check success at 14 days.
5. Reward success: People are like puppies; we need treats when we do well. Set milestones along your path to reaching your resolutions, and build in rewards that will motivate you to keep going. Good Goal: If I go to ski conditioning for eight weeks, I can buy a new pair of leggings in the Studio 2 Street Boutique.