My resolutions for 2015 were vague and included all the standards in relation to money, health and general well-being. So after a week of trying to live the way I want for the year I've realized a few things when it comes to resolutions and making any life changes in general.
- It doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing game. Don't expect yourself to get it perfect the first time out of the gate. It's not going to be easy every single day and you won't be perfect all the time but not being perfect is not a reason to give up. We're all human and no one is expecting perfection, except yourself. Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure by setting such a high and unreachable bar for what constitutes success. If you messed up today, forgive yourself, make a promise to be better today or tomorrow and then move on. Just don't make it a habit; we still want to be doing the new habit more than we are doing the old one.
- Do it for yourself and no one else. This is an important one that I'm only now just realizing. In the past I would make resolutions about weight loss, healthy eating and working out because of the expectations put on me by friends, family and society. And you know what: I never stuck to those ones, because it wasn't truly for me and it didn't truly come from my heart. Now I've accomplished a lot more by doing it for myself.
- Be kind to yourself. You can't berate and shame yourself into the change; trust me I've tried it that way and it doesn't work. Being positive about what you want to accomplish and by using positive and motivating self-talk and self-love is the only way to change yourself. Are you doing these things as a punishment to yourself? No, you're doing it to become a better version of yourself so that you can live a better version of your life. Enjoy the journey.
- Make it fun. Do the things you love and enjoy, don't force yourself to take up a new habit or hobby that isn't beneficial for your overall health, and that includes your mental health. If it's stressing you out too much then maybe it's not for you or maybe it's not the right time. Give yourself a break, this isn't a failure just a tweak. Also, give yourself rewards and treats for sticking to your habits on a regular basis.
- It's not always going to be easy and that's okay. Making major changes to one's life is hard. We are creatures of habit and comfort and we don't like to change what we know and we don't like to be uncomfortable. Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is a good thing and that means that you may have to break a sweat to lose weight and you may have to go through withdrawal when you give sugar. The thing to remember is that the discomfort will pass and you will not die and you will be better for it in the end. Keep pushing and stay strong: you can do it!
- Break it up. I've made a lot of resolutions for 2015, which means I have all year to accomplish them, it doesn't all have to happen in January. So I'm going to break them up into monthly resolutions to help myself not get overwhelmed, which leads to frustration and then giving up. Here's my tentative monthly schedule for the first third of the year:
- January: setup a morning routine that includes making my bed, meditation, yoga and adding flossing to my brushing routine.
- February: budget and saving month, in which I do not spend any money on extras outside of my usual bills, transportation and groceries.
- March: yoga month, in which I go to a yoga class every day (I bought a Groupon to encourage this one).
- April: writing month, in which I finish a first draft of the novel I started in November.
- During all the months I will continue to go to the gym 5-6 days per week, read 2 books per month, save money and eat healthy.
Another important point is to appreciate all that I have accomplished so far, how far I've come in the past year and the things that I've accomplished outside of the standard resolutions. I look back at where I was just a little over a year ago and I'm so grateful for how far I've come and that gives me motivation to keep going. I know I can achieve anything I set my mind to and I know you can to. Keep enjoying your uncommonly wealthy life! :)