It is mid-February, which means it is pretty much March already. Needless to say, this month has been jammed packed with events, classes, assignments, group assignments, and well the fact that time is going by too fast. It is not easy to keep up. So today, I want to give you some wisdom as to how to keep up with your new year's resolutions (if you have any) especially during busy times.
Those who know me would say I am pretty strong willed when I want to. After a few years of consistency, I have tackled most of the common healthy lifestyle resolutions, but while it took me a while, throughout my time I have collected a list of things that help tremendously with this whole resolution thing.
Here are some tips!
Turn your resolutions into goals:
One of the things I started doing this year was bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is when you create a planner from scratch by adding what you need and what works for you. It’s truly magic. At the end of each month, I have a checklist of things I wanted to accomplish in that particular month (a.k.a. My resolutions for the most part).
In this list you may see things as work out 16-22 times during the month, quit social media for a day, call someone you love over the phone, read a book for leisure, declutter home or office, and incorporate meditation once a week, to mention a few.
This little checklist keeps me accountable for what I want/need to accomplish. Sadly, I did not check all the items on my January list and it looks like some of my February items won’t be accomplished, but now I have a plan for how I will approach the next months, how some of these resolutions have evolved throughout the weeks, and truly adding new goals as I see deem. This little ‘goal’ list is extremely adaptable. You can make weekly short-term goals, monthly goals, and the list goes on. The point is you can continue to follow up with your resolutions or in my case my monthly goals, and keep yourself accountable for it.
Have someone to keep you accountable:
This year a friend from my master’s program created a Facebook accountability group for health related goals. The people in this group are from different parts of the country and have various goals. Some members from this group want to get fit, lose weight, improve eating habits, gain weight, get stronger, etc. The cool thing about this group is no matter what you post whether it is that you did amazing that week or that you could not keep up, this group of people encourages each other to keep going.
In addition to this Facebook group, I am part of plenty Fitbit challenges. “Competing” with each other throughout the week or weekend has become a habit for some of my groups. Again, while we laugh and tell the leading people to “stop walking” or to “sit down” because deep down we all want to win, there is a component of encouragement and again, accountability.
And some days, when I feel like none of the above work, I ask someone to tell me what I need to hear. I will literally ask my roommate to tell me “I think you should go work out today” or text other friends and tell them where I am at and for them to encourage me to what they know is good for me. Finding people or groups who can help you through the journey is a good way to keep up. You would be amazed of how much it helps to have others check in on you.
Keep track of your progress:
Whether it is adopting something new or leaving something that was part of you, you can’t really do things from one day to the other (if you can, let me know as I would like to know how you did it). This means that change is progressive and for this, there is a greater need for patience and consistency.
I like to keep track of my progress by taking pictures to notice any changes in my skin, my body, etc. I also like to keep track of what I eat and what books I have been reading by writing them somewhere. It truly goes down to find a way in which you can track your own progress and be proud of the work you have done.
Be kind to yourself:
Did you cheat on your diet? Did you miss the gym? Did you oversleep? Don’t worry. The key to keeping up with your resolutions, your goals, and more importantly adopting new habits is remembering that you are human. Allow yourself to be human and play forgiveness if things do not work out at first. Try again. Do not give up yet. Find alternative routes. Find what works for you.
Give yourself a break and pick back up when you have to. The cool thing I have found through my journey is that commitment, determination, and patience are key but more importantly, I am in charge of my actions.
Eventually, your resolutions will become habits:
January is not the only month you are allowed to set resolutions. Incorporating a healthy lifestyle, taking care of yourself, walking away from old habits, etc. can be done at any time of the year. Remember, you do not have to wait for Monday or January to come.
Many say that it takes about 28 days to adopt a new habit. Set your mind to it and keep going. Remember not to deprive yourself as well. Do what you have to do and remind yourself why you are making these great changes.
Keep up the good work, be kind to yourself, and turn your resolutions into goals or habits.
Mara Schaffler | Educational Administration and Human Resources Development
is a second year in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE) program within the College of Education and Human Development.