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New year, new you right?  Well, maybe we better slow down a little bit!  Sometimes we just jump in to making huge changes in our lives instead of recognizing that often times we need to start small and eventually those small changes can lead to the big changes that we want.  Like someone never working out a day in their life to thinking they can jump in and run a marathon in a week. I know that’s a pretty drastic example but I see people make goals like that all the time! New years resolutions are a prime example of that.

Big changes in life dont happen overnight, they take time and effort

What makes us think we can not work out at all and then suddenly one day later we have a goal to go to a gym 5 days a week?  Talk about setting ourselves up for failure! When we want to change something really big in life we usually can’t just change it overnight.  Chances are we have a whole bunch of habits and behaviours surrounding whatever it is we want to change. When we try to flip a switch on those things we are often setting ourselves up for failure because we will probably quickly fall back into the old patterns and any progress made towards that positive change will quickly slip away and leave us feeling like failures once more.

On average only 8% of people keep new years resolutions…maybe it’s time to rethink things?

A commonly stated statistic is that normally only about 8% of people keep their new year resolutions and I would argue that is because they are trying to make a big drastic change in their life and are trying to do it overnight.  Instead of taking is slow and setting realistic and achievable goals to obtain a larger goal they go right for the big flashy goal…and then fail when they can’t change quickly enough.

You have to warm yourself up, you have to take it easy and get there when your ready.  Instead of going for that marathon try to walk a half a mile, then work up to running that half mile and then go from there.  You can walk a half mile, you can do that…you can’t just run a marathon without the proper preparation. Just like you can’t just lose 50 pounds overnight but you could try to lose 5 pounds over the next month or so.  

Dont make huge goals that are unobtainable for you, make goals that are achievable for you

Don’t set your goal at completely cutting out all sugar when you have basically lived on sugar for years.  Instead start at cutting out one or two days a week and build that habit, then add more days. See how doing something little by little can really add up?  Plus, once you get a few wins under your belt then you have momentum behind you, and as I highlighted in this post about momentum it’s hard to slow you down after you get moving.

A popular quote is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.  Sounds a lot like new year resolutions huh?

Positive changes in life are great but let’s not keep setting ourselves up for failure.  Let’s be smart about it and take our time to achieve that goal. Let’s make a resolution to make some changes in our lives be realistic as to what we can manage.  We can do it, we can break down our goals and make them manageable. It might take a little extra time but it will definitely be worth it in the end when we actually start to achieve our goals instead of always feeling bad about ourselves and failing!  New year new you is ok, just recognize that it might take more than a year and that’s ok!

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