As December starts to fade into January, a glimpse of the new year is ahead of us. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a chance for a quiet reflection, our time to step back and meditate on 2016 and set intentions for 2017.
New Year’s resolutions have been getting quite the bad rap, but that’s mostly due to the fact that most of us will let our resolutions slip by. It’s not because we don’t want to achieve those resolutions, but mainly because we didn’t set ourselves up for success. Instead, we’ll often set too high-reaching, unrealistic goals in the first place. However, it has been shown that people who make resolutions are far more likely to make some progress, than those who don’t set explicit goals at all.
So, this time around we’re going to take the same approach we use for our food, and apply it to our goals: keep it simple. You don’t need a lot of frills, fuss or complicated wand-waving to make progress—and progress, not perfection, is a much more attainable objective.
Progress encourages positivity—every little bit counts. Progress keeps you motivated—I’ve come this far already. Progress celebrates small victories—it doesn’t punish you for not achieving an arbitrary idea of “perfection.”
By breaking down your goal into something so simple that you would feel silly NOT doing it, you’ll be far more likely to stick to your resolution and feel good about yourself every step of the way—not just at the destination. How can you create a progress-oriented resolution or goal? In general, think small. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- If your goal is meditation, start with meditating 5 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Every 1 or 2 weeks, add another day to your schedule until you reach 5-6 days a week. Then begin to lengthen your sessions 1 minute at a time until you reach 10 minutes. Continue to add and lengthen very slowly, and keep a log or journal to help with accountability.
- If your goal is losing weight or exercising more, start by committing to walking. Just easy, comfortable, dedicated walking. Start by walking 10 minutes a day, every day. No matter who you are or what your schedule is, everyone can fit in 10 minutes of walking. Do it while on the phone, on the way to work, on your lunch break. Park at the back of the parking lot and skip the elevators for the stairs. Add more walking to your daily routine little by little, minute by minute, until you’re walking 30-60 minutes, 5 or 6 days a week. This no-hassle commitment will improve overall fitness, posture, mood, stress—the list is almost endless—and eventually, you can turn your walking time into something more intensive, like jogging, weight training, yoga or other fitness classes. But for now, all you need are a comfortable pair of shoes and 10 minutes.
- If your goal is getting organized, start by making your bed. Yep, just making your bed. As soon as your feet hit the floor—not after your morning coffee or a quick breakfast, not after you check your email. Right when you wake up. This small accomplishment will give you a boost of energy and feeling of productivity that can, over time, overhaul your morning routine and set your mood for the rest of the day. Once making your bed every morning is habitual, spend 5 minutes tidying up your bedroom, the kitchen, the living room—any space in your home that needs attention. Just 5 minutes (for no more than 10 minutes total of cleaning every morning) and before you know it, you’ll have developed a habit of getting organized—and feeling really good about it—every single day.
What are your New Year’s resolutions and goals? How will you break them down into simple, bite-sized commitments? Connect with us on Instagram for more simple solutions and a daily dose of delicious, nutrition recipes!