January; a time of new year resolutions, hitting the gym, diets and the inevitable failed attempts at life changes. Every year thousands flock to the gym or limit their caloric intake (or both!) the first few weeks of January, only to give up by February.
January can be a great time for change, but you need to start small and make realistic goals. If you've been sedentary for the last 2 months (Thank you snow and holidays!) and plan to run a mile every day, it might not go well. Some times we may even hit that 1 mile on the first day or two, but we get sore and we retreat back to netflix (and chill). Change is difficult! We need to make it more attainable by making small changes, OFTEN. If want to work up to a running mile a day but have never done it before, start by walking a half mile a day. This will be more achievable and success breeds more success.
Next step! Go easy on yourself!!
I feel we get pushed to the limit in January and ignore the small achievements causing us to give up on our goals. If you've made it through the first few weeks and hit the gym more than you did last year. Good job! Give yourself some gratitude! You are doing it!! I'm not saying go out and binge, but give yourself some love for what you did rather than seeing the days you missed. Life is unpredictable. We do what we can by planning and setting goals, but sometimes you need a rest day or a night out. Which leads me to....
Stick with it!!
This is the hardest part. I'm sure you've read that it takes 21 days to make something habit. That's 3 weeks. We are officially in the 3rd week of January, my friends! Stay positive, focus on the small successes and keep working on those small changes.
One change I am working on is writing down "3 Good Things" in my journal. It's a small change that takes only a few minutes, but the rewards of seeing the good in the day has been plentiful. Some times it's "Made it to the gym!", "Hugged my cat!" or "Was complimented on the yoga class I taught." Any 3 good things that happened which we may not have appreciated at the time due to the bad mood we were in because we were running late, spilled our coffee, etc. (life is unpredictable, remember?)
Once your small change has become habit, review and modify as needed. Remember back in school when you were to told to make a rough draft, before submitting the final copy? Well, good news January can be a rough draft. You have time to modify and change things for the next month! Just remember to keep you changes small and attainable, then review and modify as needed for your next month!