Create Better Resolutions
Aimee Prasek, PhD
Dec 28, 2016
Here's the thing:
1. Resolutions-as-usual rarely work.
Nonetheless, every January 1st invites the temptation to reinvent yourself with lots of resolutions. You write down that new rigorous exercise regimen, promise to never touch a crystal of sugar again, and build a meditation alter in your living room to support your planned daily practice.
The first three days are a breeze!
Then that happy hour on day four- with lots of margaritas. You consumed a few extras to account for the fact that you slipped up early with your sugar resolution, but won't have any more margaritas for the rest of the year. But, that next day headache meant no meditation or workout, plus your meditation alter broke. Frustration sets in. Day six was a weekend and... all the weekend things declared war on your resolutions. What was the point of all this again? You surrendered on day eight with a margarita and toasted to renewed self-care... next year.
I had many years that started out like this. Margaritas, busted meditation alters, and all.
Most resolutions are overly-rigorous and under-planned. Unrealistic resolutions may also be out of alignment with what you really want to create in your life. And even though there's no viable road for success with these unrealistic resolutions, the failure to achieve them can still crush your confidence and wellbeing.
There are much better ways to ignite your health in 2017.
I started making smarter and more nourishing resolutions 10 years ago. I still create one resolution every January 1st that serves as a ritual to ignite my self-care for the next year. I also went through a powerful mindfulness-based wellbeing program in 2005 that helped guide and fuel my journey.
You can do the same!
Six tips for resolution-making:
- Pick one thing that's doable. Setting too many resolutions can leave you overwhelmed and defeated. Choosing just one realistic resolution focuses your attention and effort and improves your chances of success. You can always add a new goal/resolution after you've got the first one down.
- Identify your "Why." Why do you want to make this habit change? How will your "Why" benefit your wellbeing? Can your resolution really help you accomplish that "Why?" If not, is there a resolution that aligns better?
- Specify and identify obstacles. For example, instead of just banning sugar from your diet, identify the specific foods you are trying to limit. Then dig in and analyze the details and obstacles of your resolution. Where, when, and how are the best ways to practice your resolution? Where, when, and why will it be difficult to stick to your resolution? How can you overcome or perceive obstacles differently to boost your resolution success? How can you ride out a craving? What happens if you eat one of those foods?
- Plan small steps for success. Are you hungry, sore, and defeated after the first week? Then it's not going to work. Sticking to your resolution will be challenging as you develop new habits, but your resolution should also nourish you in ways that continue to motivate your practice. What small wins can you expect as you practice your resolution? Look out for those and let them help fuel your continued practice.
- Join/create a community. Surround yourself with folks who want you to succeed and who are also interested in improving their own wellbeing. This support and shared energy is monumentally helpful for your success.
- Get some help. There are many trusted resources you can seek out to help you meet your resolution in a less painful and more efficient way. Just make sure the resources you seek out are scientifically sound, safe, and focused on your success. Suggestion: Check out the BSP Online Studio and your wellBEing lab for resolution help.
Head over here to download your Resolution Worksheet (FREE!).
After downloading, head over here for tips and support as you complete the worksheet and begin your resolution.
Aimee Prasek, PhD
Aimee has gathered diverse experiences studying and practicing with scholars and healers all across the globe. Her work is fully-focused on making mindfulness-based practices more accessible and helping individuals boost wellbeing, defeat chronic stress, and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Aimee completed her PhD at the University of Minnesota (UMN) with a research focus in integrative healing therapies (i.e., yoga & mindfulness-based practices) for wellbeing and to reduce symptoms of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. She also received her MA in Holistic Health Studies (University of St. Catherine), an MA in Health Journalism (UMN), and she is certified in a variety of wellness systems & practices (NASM CPT, E-RYT 500, PYT-500, Healing Touch, Reiki, & group fitness).