By Jamie Herrick - Contributing Blogger
Earlier this month we gave you a resolution post, “In Support of Resolutions (That Last More Than a Week), praising the making of resolutions and committing to them. We told you how to get your resolutions to last more than the dreaded one-month deadline of your own attention span. In a fast-moving society – with something new waiting around every corner – it’s not hard to get sidetracked. Even when you make goals that feel realistic, ones that you are sure you can sustain throughout the year, once the shimmer-sparkle of the new year has worn off, real life is waiting to punch you right back to reality. The good news for you is that we are here to help show you how to punch it right back!
Sticking to your goals can feel like walking a freaking tightrope; if you slide too much in either direction you risk toppling over and losing all the distance you’ve achieved. Give too little and you’ve suddenly gone two or three weeks without running, wondering if your legs even work anymore. Give too much and you feel spread thin and like the joy is being sucked out of every action you thought was going to bring you closer to your bright, shiny goals.
The reality is that we all make our resolutions with the best of intentions. You told yourself you could pre-cook your meals in one large batch every week, that you could make a smoothie for breakfast most days, that you could get more sleep, and still manage to maintain your life the way it was before you ever hopped on to this crazy train.
Your expectations were magic, but the reality is, let’s face it, mighty stressful. So where do you go from here, you resolution-making champion, you?
Take the time to have a good long talk with those resolutions. Take note of why you decided to make this a part of your life, even if that mean jotting those notes down next to each resolution you made! If you can’t think of a solid, important reason to keep it then it’s just taking up space in your life where you could focus on something that means more to you.
Bend, don’t break
You can adjust your goals without it being a failure. Refusing to change anything until you give up altogether is failing and being too proud to compromise isn’t what succeeding looks like. If you said you’d work out four days a week, scale back to three and use that extra night to take a deep breath and spoil yourself. If you wanted to take a trip for a six-day hike, but now money is tight, start a savings account just for that! There is always a way to move forward, even if that way feels slower than the direct route.
Don’t punish yourself
So, you were hopeful and idealistic? There are worse crimes! Punishing yourself for not meeting a goal doesn’t help anyone, but it definitely does hurt you. Instead, scale back and start fresh the next day.
You don’t need a brand-new year to make a brand-new you, these same steps could be applied to a goal you made because it was your birthday, or the middle of summer, or – heck, because it was Tuesday! If you did make resolutions though, you can make it through that month-long hurdle. You just have to dig down deep, remember that you want this, and you can find that balance of new you and your life before. That’s the secret to long-term success.
Remember that even if you feel like you are walking on a tightrope, and trying to hold on to that balance of too much and too little, once you make it across the rope you’re stronger than you’ve ever been before. It’s a journey, and you are making your way through it.