Woo, Happy New Year! Yeah, I know it’s March and that January is “officially” the New Year, but I’m restarting my resolutions in March, so HAPPY NEW YEAR. I was thinking about how many people fail their New Years resolutions, and it hit me that why can’t we just change them instead?
My January goals are a lot different than the ones I’m officially focusing on March for 2019. Coming into this year, I was set on going into all these new habits that I thought I wanted to do. I tried swimming last year, and was aiming to go a few times a week to replace cardio and become a “Fluent Swimmer”. There was a new online course on copywriting that I was eyeing, so I added getting that to my list, too. I even had tried going Vegan to it (mostly to try and see if it was possible), but that was short-lived. Just like most resolutions.
But I think we need to cut ourselves some slack for not meeting them. I think it’s not always because we don’t have the discipline or will power. When it came to swimming, I did manage to get up at 5:30 for a morning swim before work. I even took the copywriting exercises as part of the free email course leading up to it! And I made a good effort to cut out dairy… so I can say I at least tried.
The real problem is that we’re a different person at the start of the year, and fail to adjust as we go along. Ashley in-the-middle-of-holiday-season vs Ashley who’s two months into 2019 are two different people, so it makes sense to have a delayed New Year.
I find March is a better time since you get two more months to focus on what you really want to make out of this year. For one, January doesn’t make any sense to start something new in the dead of the winter. Take a cue from nature – it’s still in hibernation mode. Think about trying motivate yourself to get up for morning workouts in -10 degrees? That timing sucks. You’re setting yourself up for failure.
Also, I think you need a little extra time to figure out what your year is looking like and be mindful of what you actually want to get out of it. As soon as November hits and it’s holiday season, everyone is kind of in a fairytale land. Obviously when you’re in that space, your resolutions are going to be a little more optimistic coming into January. You may also have new responsibilities pop up that change your daily routine or life around. By giving yourself a month or two to settle in, you’ll know what you’re capable of taking on given the rest of your New Year.
I found a good way to balance that is by taking the first two months as a trial period, and readjusting in March. The first step is to figure out WHY you are adding this as your resolution. Anything you do is always motivated by a bigger purpose. For me, I wanted to improve my swimming because it’s a low impact cardio. On a bigger picture, I wanted to add cardio to help with my fat loss goals. For the copywriting course, I wanted to become a better writer and going vegan sounded interesting (no real reason there). Boom, my why.
Second step is to give it a try and figure out if it’s working for you. Life will change and that’s okay. While I’m proud of my attempt at swimming regularly, I realized that I still suck at swimming and would get nervous when trying it alone at 5:30 AM. So even when I’d get to the pool, I’d only be able to swim for a bit before the fear kicks in and hopping out. I realized this wasn’t working – but still wanted to become a better swimmer and add more low impact cardio. I had a few situations that had me tighten up financially, so the copywriting course was a little out of my budget, but I still am focused on upgrading my writing. Going vegan just wasn’t working.
The third step is to keep your goal/why in mind – and then readjust. Though morning swims alone weren’t cutting it, I still wanted to improve my swimming. My local gym had drop in classes on Saturday mornings for a short group class. I tried these out a few times and found I was more consistent with those since I wasn’t afraid of drowning or sharks in the pool. To add in an easy, low-impact cardio, I started taking walks during after lunch. As for writing, I’m focusing on going through the copywriting books I already own (for free!) and writing for this site. I dropped being vegan – just wasn’t working for me.
Now coming towards the end of March, I have a slightly different list of resolutions for 2019. By giving myself two months to test drive my plans, I was able to readjust what I was actually doing in order to stick to my original goals. And since they fit better with the 2019 Ashley vs December 2018 Ashley, they’re a better fit going forward.