New Year's Resolutions: Make them easier with these tips

boundaries emotional health life lessons self-improvement Jan 01, 2022


For those of us who make New Year's Resolutions, we are connecting with a sense of hope that things can be different. It's part acknowledgement that things could be better and hope that we can engineer that improvement in our lives. Really, the hopefulness we feel is a love affair with the potential of what could be.

But, if you're more connected with the hopelessness of setting New Year's Resolutions because you haven't realized the potential of past resolutions or have seen too many others fail to realize theirs, it's okay. Being in touch with the problem of your current situation is often troubling and disempowering because you might not know how you got here or how to effectively change it.

Keep in mind though that the idea, "Things could (should) be better" is the first step in making a change. You have to identify a problem before you can fix it.

If you'd like to be in touch with the hopefulness of a better version of you in 2022 (or if you're already hopeful), here are some tips for making changes.

Start with one small change. Make it a habit. The success of making that change will give you more confidence in the next small change.

Chain the change. Here's what I mean by that: connect the small change to something you already do. For example, if you want to make your bed every morning, then make it a point to make your bed right after you do something else, like get out of bed.

Once you've successfully made one small change, THEN add in another small change.

Set up milestones and reward yourself along the way.

Don't expect things to change overnight.

Be careful who you tell about the change you're making. People have an uncanny ability to say the most unsupportive things when we share our aspirations. Don't tell everyone. Only tell people who you know will respond in a supportive way.

If the change you want to make is to stop doing something (like snacking), you'll be more successful if you replace the behavior with something else (like have a glass of water), rather than just trying to not do the behavior.

Set an intention for the change you want to make before you start the day. Consider putting a note on your bathroom mirror or set a reminder on your phone. When setting the intention, connect with how good you'll feel for making the change.

Finally, I highly encourage you to be kind to yourself along the way. You'll have days that don't go well. That's normal. The only difference between successfully changing and giving up is your willingness to re-engage with your new habit after when it slips through your fingers. Research about change shows that we don't move smoothly from old behavior to new behavior. Instead, we have to circle around to restarting a few times before it sticks.

Here's to making the year a little better in a perfect way for you. 🥂

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