With the new year right around the corner, this is the time where most of us start coming up with resolutions and making plans for the year ahead. There’s something really great about the new year, it’s almost like an opportunity to start fresh and the possibilities seem endless. For most people though, by the time March roles around we’ve completely given up on the resolutions and have settled back into our typical ways. You may find yourself asking: Can 2015 be any different?
Most resolutions typically fail because they are too vague, for example “I want to lose weight” and too extreme, for example “I’m going to become a prima ballerina even though I’ve never taken ballet lessons”. The key to actually following through with your resolutions is to make them both specific and realistic, more importantly making it work for your current lifestyle. Say your goal is weight loss and you work a 9 to5 job, have a young family and a packed schedule every day. In order to lose weight, you will have to workout regularly and consistently, while eating a very balanced and clean diet. If your mornings are already super busy and you’re exhausted in the evening, then don’t schedule a 1 hour workout during either of these times, instead try working on your lunch hour at a nearby gym or if you can’t afford it, go for a run or power walk outside (just be sure to bundle up if it’s cold). In terms of diet, you know this already, plan ahead and make big batches of meals that you can portion out and keep in the freezer, be sure to flip through the weekly flyers at grocery stores to get the best deals possible. Make your goal really specific, aim to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week and don’t weigh yourself more than once per week, if you slip up along the way, don’t freak out just wipe the slate clean and keep going. If you are considering joining a weight loss program, do your research ahead of time before signing up; check out reviews for the program, read the fine print in terms of fees and be sure that this program will work for you – just because it’s popular or been endorsed by a celebrity doesn’t mean that it’ll be the best fit, so really look at everything before signing on the dotted line.
Since this year is almost at an end, take the opportunity to look back at what your resolutions were for 2014 and how well you did in keeping them. If you gave up in the spring, don’t beat yourself up about it instead look at how realistic you were and why it didn’t work. If your goal was to go after your dream job, but you have no experience or training in that field and you didn’t do anything to change that, then you already know why it didn’t happen. Make the effort to look into what’s needed to get there; maybe you’ll have to go back to school and take a few classes (at night possibly, if that’s what fits into your day) or do some kind of training or internship first. We all start somewhere and when it comes to successful careers, it takes time and a tremendous amount of continuous effort to get to the top, remember that the next time you’re feeling like there’s no end in sight. Nobody ever starts at the top, if they did chances are they’d get bored and wouldn’t appreciate how fortunate they are to be in such a great space in their life. There are very few experiences that are smooth sailing; most of the time there are ups and downs and a whole lot of struggling along the way whether it’s relationships, careers or health, it’s always a bit of a rollercoaster so before you settle back into your old ways remember that everything that you have already achieved took a lot of work and the same goes for everything that you will achieve in the future.
My resolution for 2014 was to try new things and I had specific things planned throughout the year to do just that starting with taking ballet classes once per week at a school close to my work. I loved the classes, they were so much fun and gave me something to look forward to every Thursday night. Once the classes were finished for the summer I started hot yoga at a studio one block away from my office and I still go to classes each week, it’s so relaxing and a great workout. I’m glad to have tried some new classes this year and I do feel like I finally followed through on my resolution. Now that being said this year wasn’t all awesome; I had a bad injury, got really sick and had more overall stress than ever before, but that’s life as much as it sucks to admit it, there will always be some pretty intense experiences no matter where we’re at.
For the year ahead my first resolution is to show more gratitude which when you think about it isn’t that hard to do, a simple thank you can really make the difference and show a person that you do appreciate what they do for you. Whether it’s thanking the bus driver, the barista or the person holding the door open for you, acknowledging someone for doing something they really don’t have to is a great thing that can add a little positivity to the day. The second resolution that I have is to practice ballet again each week; it was too expensive to do both hot yoga and ballet so I decided to stick with yoga, but I really miss practicing ballet so instead every Saturday I will set aside at least one hour to slip on my ballet slippers and practice at home, I still have my workbook from my classes and there are tons of how-to videos online that I can easily work with to keep practicing. This way I don’t have to pay a small fortune for the classes and I still get to enjoy a great activity that I love. If eventually I see that I really want to take the classes again and feel that the investment is worth it then I will budget accordingly and sign up, but for now I think practicing at home will be just as great.
Whatever you chose to make your resolution in 2015 remember to be specific and realistic; you can do anything and achieve anything you want if you work hard enough no matter what your life looks like now. Let this be the year that you really go for it and take the road less traveled, make your resolution and come up with a plan to stick to it and follow through. Think about where you’re at now and where you want to be by the end of 2015 and really look at how you can get there, it’s possible no matter how out of reach your goal may seem. This is the starting point for you to start living your dream, so make it happen and keep moving forward. You’ve got this!
Have a super awesome happy new year, all the best to you and yours in 2015!
Start It, Finish It