How to Turn Resolutions into Habits
Updated: Jan 21
Happy New Year everyone!
We hope you all had a happy holiday celebration with your friends and family and are as excited to kick off 2020 as we are! After all, it’s not just a new year, it’s a new decade! That takes “new year, new me” to a whooole other level… That being said, if you’re anything like me, you want to start the year off on a good note with a whole laundry list of resolutions and goals for the next year (and decade!). The new year just feels like a good time to finally put your nose to the grindstone on your goals, buuuut, that’s easier said than done, right? Getting back into the swing of things after the holidays can feel like you’re moving in slow motion. After all, the holidays are synonymous with overeating, sleeping in, and losing all track of time… well, hopefully that’s not just me.
With that being said, 2020 is the year of- as the great philosopher of our time, Kylie Jenner, once put it- “realizing things.” And while that may not seem like anything revolutionary, I’d say it’s actually pretty accurate. It’s time to realize your goals, passions, and potential. Taking the time to figure out what you want and then setting up a structure for how to achieve it is half the battle. Seeking out what will help you unlock your fullest potential is no arbitrary task, but the dawn of 2020 is a perfect place to start!
When it comes to resolutions, they hardly ever stick, right? You start off strong, maybe going to the gym every day for a week, reading ⅔ of a book, doing all of the juice cleanses, but then, somehow, February hits and it seems like at least half of us have fallen off the bandwagon. Something about the cold weather and it being one of the most boring times of year- especially without our Patriots SuperBowl win to look forward to this year- just strips us of all motivation.
But, alas, fear not! We’ve done our homework and tried out some tips and tricks to help kickstart resolutions and turn them into routines. If you’re struggling to stick to that gym routine, pick up that new hobby, or even just develop a better sleep schedule, you’ve come to the right place!
1. Be Realistic
While you may be tempted to set massive goals for yourself in order to truly tackle the new year, it’s important to keep in mind what’s realistic for you. Setting small, incremental goals is much more powerful than trying to drastically change your lifestyle overnight. Say, you want to go to the gym, if you’re someone who doesn’t currently have any sort of routine and you haven’t worked out in a while, going to the gym every single day isn’t very feasible. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but it is much more difficult for both your mind and body to do and, thus can lead to you feeling even less motivated to carry through.
What’s much more productive is to say, “Okay, here is my work/social schedule, and here’s where I can definitely fit in time to go to the gym.” Even if it is just 2-3 times per week, that’s a huge start and that is a realistic goal that you can build upon.
2. Small Steps
This goes hand in hand with being realistic. It’s important to make sure you’re not overwhelming yourself to the point that you feel discouraged. Setting goals that can later be altered and increased in duration, scope, and intensity is a really important aspect to keep in mind. If you want to read more in 2020, start with one book per month. As time goes on, you may find that you’re reading much more often and finishing books quickly. Then, you can alter the goal to be 2, 3, or even 4 books per month.
Turning resolutions into routines is all about taking it day by day. Reading 24 books may seem like a lot on January 10th when you have yet to finish even one, but after all, that’s only two books per month! Setting clear and achievable goals that you can work into your daily routine will get you much farther in the long run.
3. Reduce Friction
Life comes at you fast and each week can be drastically different from the last. One week you may have tons of free time and you find it extremely easy to find time to make healthy and nutritious meals each day, but the next may be hectic and filled with meetings, deadlines, and your best friend’s birthday party. Take a look at your calendar for the next month and identify when you may be especially busy and, therefore, more likely to slip up. Wherever there is friction between your day to day life and your goals, make an effort to reduce it.
Say, if your goal is to eat more healthy and cut out processed and fast food, meal prep for that especially busy week so that you can have everything prepared without needing to even think about it.
Setting reminders, meal prepping, and writing notes for yourself are just a few ways you can help ensure you’re meeting your targets by helping to create structure for yourself. Developing small daily habits and aiding your future self in sticking to them will eventually turn into a daily routine and lifestyle that you won’t even have to think about.
4. The 21 Day Rule
It takes about 21 days to form a habit, which may seem like a long time but it certainly can be if you’re tackling something like taking added sugar out of your diet… I can’t lie, I can’t say no to Ben and Jerry’s. Buuut, sticking to a habit for 21 days pretty much solidifies it into your daily routine. At this point, your body won’t crave the sugar and, although the B&J Tonight Dough will *never* not taste delicious, you won’t feel like you’re constantly fighting off the urge to satisfy your sweet tooth.
I’d recommend that you try to get closer to a whole month, or 30 days, to really solidify your resolutions into routines. Rather than saying, “I’m never eating anything with added sugar again,” you can try not eating it for 30 days. This will help your mind get over the mental hurdle of trying to cut it out of your life cold turkey. Instead, you may find that on day 31 you don’t even crave it anymore. This is where resolutions become routines and routines become a lifestyle.
The last tip we have for you is to ensure you have grit. This may be a resolution in and of itself for some as it’s not really an easy trait to have. A person with true grit has passion and perseverance for long term goals. This is a sense of powerful motivation to achieve an ultimate end state and it truly can be difficult to acquire. This is where the great philosopher Kylie Jenner comes back in… it’s the year of realizing things! Realizing your wants, desires, and goals are essential to creating resolutions.
You shouldn’t just set a resolution to go to the gym because everyone else is and Planet Fitness is right down the street, you should do it if it is a path to achieving your overarching goal of being healthy and fit. Everyone’s goals are different and that is because we are all on our own path to unlock our individual potential. But, whatever your goals may be, developing your grit and really honing it is a major factor in achieving them in the long term. And, remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Along the way, you’ll certainly find hurdles and roadblocks, but that’s okay! That underlying motivation will carry you the whole way through.
And with that, we have our 5 tips to turn resolutions into habits! I hope this article has been helpful for you and please let us know of your progress with whatever your goals may be. And, on your journey, stop by a Fresh Fridge for that afternoon pick-me-up! Whether it be an Atomic Coffee, an Arugula Caprese Salad, or a Buffalo Chicken Wrap (Featured below!), you can always be sure that it’ll both fuel your body and your motivation to keep up those resolutions!
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