Resolutions be gone.
With the new year upon us, resolutions are flying around here there and everywhere. And if you are like most adults, even just a few days in, your resolution has already gone out the window.
Isn’t it crazy that everyone can be so “gung-ho” on the first of the year, but then the novelty fades, real life creeps in, and boom back to the same ol’ same.
What would happen if we all decided to simply continue being the best version of ourselves with each start of a new day, new week, new month and new year? What if we were able to make small changes on a more gradual basis and adjusted slowly and daily rather than an all or nothing mentality?
We would be more kind to ourselves. We would waste a lot less time and energy worrying about the “new you” we want to become. We would even be happier with who we are.
If you are you someone who gets “tied up” in the future, you likely wonder (and worry) if this resolution/new habit/altered pattern is going to be worthwhile in the end or if it is going to smack you straight in the face. You might spend so much time sitting in the “what if” scenarios that you have them all the outcomes detailed in your mind.
You struggle to make decisions.
You get stuck in the “messy middle”.
You stay stagnant.
Guess what? I used to be this way too? I can say, with confidence, that I am slowly but surely overcoming the decision fatigue and am now actually REALLY good at not being so tied to the outcome!
I used to have many “what if thoughts” like what if…
-it doesn’t work?
-I don’t like the outcome?
-I don’t make any money?
-I am judged by other people?
-it is harder than I think?
-I don’t enjoy it?
-it isn’t actually the answer?
But now, when I think of making small changes, I use these instead. What if…
-it it the next best step?
-it becomes everything I’ve dreamed of?
-it opens up new doors?
-it actually works?
-I trust myself?
-I get curious about what this could be?
-I explore my options here?
When you get curious about how your body might feel after a new workout, you give it a go just to see.
When you get curious about how you might recharge after some self-care, you schedule it, wondering if it will help.
When you get curious about how sleep teaching might work for your family, you try it and cross your fingers that it’s the next best thing you do.
When you get curious about how you might grow when you take the new job, you explore the options and put yourself out there.
Step into the possibilities. Ask yourself the “what if” questions in a new way. Give something new a shot, just as an exploration. Don’t get too tied to the outcome, but be open to what it might bring.
Let’s try it – I’ll go first!
Let’s start by making a list of the things that you wish were different by tomorrow. These should be changes that can be made, literally, overnight. Here are a few of mine:
- Read tonight before bed
- Wake up at my alarm to start my workout by 6:15
- Not be late to rushed out the door tomorrow when heading to school drop off
Once you’ve made a list of A FEW things (don’t go overboard as it will likely leave you overwhelmed), pick ONE and only one to focus on. Again, this should be a little nugget goal. Tiny enough to actually do, but big enough to actually matter.
For me, I know tomorrow will start off MUCH BETTER if I am able to get some movement in before my son gets up. So that is where I am going to start.
Okay, so the end result I want (by tomorrow morning when my son wakes up) is to have completed my workout. In order to be successful at this, I need a HOW and you do, too!
When thinking about the ACTION behind your goal, remember that we are thinking small. “New year, new me” would probably set some unrealistic goal like “I will complete a 60 minute peloton ride and a stretching session before 7:15 am” but guess what?! I know that isn’t realistic. I know that is an invitation for me to FAIL.
So, instead of the whole “go big or go home” goal. I’m going to make a list of a few things that I could do to get a simply workout in first thing in the morning
- Get out of bed
- Go straight to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face
- Drink a glass of water
- Put on my workout clothes
- Use the restroom
- Put on my workout shoes
- HIT PLAY!
At this point, I want to get clear about how I will do these things, so I will make a few specific action steps. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I will do is get out of bed to turn off my alarm. When in the bathroom (turning off alarm), I will brush my teeth and wash my face. Then, I will put on my workout clothes and shoes before using the bathroom. Finally, I will make my bed before heading to my workout space to hit play on a workout that I’ve already selected.
This revision makes my goal clearer, and clarity wins when we are talking about goals!
Let’s do it
This might seem SUPER BASIC to you, and in all honesty, I hope it does. Because basic is good and basic is achievable. We can always move up from here. We can always add to the goal once we start seeing success with the smallest changes. Our brains are looking for evidence that we can achieve, so it helps to start little and grow from there.
Once you have successfully made your small change for THREE DAYS IN A ROW, then you can start to grow the impact. For me, after I have hit play on a 20 minute workout, I will add on that I will continue to do that PLUS take care of my morning meditation before hopping on social media. After three successful days of that, I will add on coffee before picking up my phone.
Within the next 15 days, I will go from hitting snooze and not getting movement in to getting up and taking care of quite a few things after morning movement as my coffee brews. Are you feeling like THIS IS EPIC?! I sure am
New year, still me
The bottom line here is that I will still be me. I will still skip some workout mornings. I will still take some mornings to sleep in. I will still hit snooze now and again.
But, I will start my day in a way that I want to. I will break a current behavior and replace it with one I desire more.
Brittney Stefanic is a whole-family certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleeper Teachers Sleep Consulting. As an enneagram 1 and recovering perfectionist, she gets that a new year is a great time to want to make big changes. But as an educator, Brittney believes in the power of teaching and loves to support families in meeting setting goals. Brittney and her team love educating and support families around the world in finding sleep solutions through their customized sleep plans. You can follow the teachers on Pinterest and Instagram @sleeperteachers for access to their sleep tips + tricks and opportunities for free sleep Q&A sessions.