So it is day 23 of 2017 and keeping up with those new year’s resolutions is getting a little hard. Okay, it is getting really hard. Honestly, since day 2 it has been really, really hard.
BUT, that’s okay.
It’s supposed to be hard— altering anything about your life is going to take some effort. At least you care enough about yourself to acknowledge that there are some improvements to be made.
What sparked this post was the fact that I consumed an entire batch of cookies in the past 24 hours. Before being impressed, or disgusted, however you may react— know that I wasn’t shocked because the cookies were “bad” for me.
The batch of cookies was small and the main ingredients were oats, half a banana, and an egg. The only sugar was from a bit of raw honey. Basically, I used the same ingredients you would use for a well-balanced breakfast.
Anyways, I found the cookies shocking because they were laughably different than whatever else might have cured my sweet tooth about six months ago. Last May, I committed to a lifestyle change of being mindful of what I eat and how much I exercise. Notedly, there are many days now that I don’t stick to my new lifestyle, but it remains a constant effort.
However, the beginning is the time to be all-in. If you really want to make a change in your life, it’s very possible. As cliche as this sounds, you have to just do it. So, I would like to share some reminders I found helpful to make the change more feasible:
1. Know that the results you want will come.
It’ll take some time, but if you keep trying, you’re bound to see results. When I first changed my eating habits, I had a fear it wouldn’t work, and that I wouldn’t notice a difference. But week after week, results started coming because I stuck with it. After a few months, even friends I hadn’t seen in over a year saw a noticeable difference. That moment of recognition makes the effort worth it.
2. Get a group.
Trying to go about a major, or maybe not-so-major, lifestyle change alone is foolish. People are meant to have a community. Having somebody to keep you accountable and check-in with helps tremendously. Even simply telling people about a goal you have in mind, makes it more real.
3. Make your goal real.
Text a note in your phone, or write it down. Overtime, your mind will start to morph your initial goal to make it more reachable. Your goal should not change depending on the circumstance, because there will always be a reason to go back to old ways. Make the goal real and important to you, so you won’t be tempted to budge.
4. If it’s getting harder, it’s working.
Just like when you clean your room, your situation will get a lot dirtier before it gets cleaner. Making a change comes with the realization of the many layers a bad habit is sure to include. There will often be more variables to it than you initially realized. But stay strong, because finding those variables are reassurance that you are making an improvement in your life.
5. Balance is key.
This is the most important one. If too much effort is going into achieving your new goal, and not enough effort is going to your mental sanity, or overall happiness, you need to make an adjustment. If following through on your goal becomes miserable, the results don’t even matter. You should have the right balance so that you’re challenged, but still enjoying your life.
Sticking to the health and fitness goals I made last year has impacted my life significantly. I feel more myself, have more energy, and am even still realizing more about what this journey entails. It’s definitely still hard and there are many days I “fail,” but in a grander view, all the hard work has paid off. Nevertheless, good luck on your resolutions and I sincerely hope your hard work will be worth it for you as well.
Thanks for reading,