1. Pick something. What’s the point if it doesn’t last? Pick one thing that bothers you and do it different for one month. Make January the month that you drink a glass of lukewarm water with lemon every morning. Why do we insist on overburdening ourselves in order to feel bad a few days into the month? This cycle of disappointment and shame is present all over our habits, whether it is our relationship with work, friendships, parenting or organizing our lives. Do just one small thing different and feel good about that choice. See how an intention can lead to an accomplishment that shapes your year.
2. While focusing on one goal is important, part of the reason NY resolutions aren’t sustainable is because we give them too much power. If you fixate on something, it consumes you and becomes overwhelming. If you decide that you are going to avoid meat for a month, settle on that goal. Browse some recipes, plan a meal or two, grocery shop, prep some items, think about what you might order when out with friends at a restaurant and then trust your ability to follow through and leave it at that. When we create an unnatural situation where there is stress or discomfort, we are always less likely to succeed.
3. Honesty. Be honest with yourself about what your desire is and what you are willing to give up to achieve it. For example, if you want to live a dry lifestyle, there needs to be a serious discussion about what parts you will miss, and what parts you won’t. What do you gain from the experience of imbibing and what have you lost out on in the process? Who else is your decision going to impact and how? What will determine success and how will you cope in the absence of previously learned behaviors? Identify support and how to access it. An important part of accepting and welcoming change is having the awareness that other parts of your life will be impacted by your choices and we don’t always expect those changes along the way. There will be a shift. In order to succeed at true change, you need to be aware that other parts of your life will also be impacted by your choices.