2017 is all but knocking down your door, but heading into mid-January you feel like you’re losing steam already?
Indeed, it seems the FitBit you promised to activate hasn’t even been turned on yet and your meal planning Sundays just didn’t make the cut to little Johnny’s hockey practices…
However, before you sweat it, it’s good to know that fewer than 10 percent of people who make New Years promises actually keep them. The good news is there’s been a ton of research happening over the last decade and sometimes it really just boils down to science. Here’s our sharable, science-backed ways to crushing those goals this New Year:
CHOOSE ONE AND ONLY ONE GOAL
Selecting the tough-to-do, self-control goals like kicking coffee to the curb, or no more favorite steak dinners takes a lot of energy. That’s why it’s pertinent to focus yourself on just one item…
According to goal-setting expert and author Caroline Adams Miller, we wake up with only a certain amount of “self-regulation” in us before we tap out. Hence you might feel it’s a breeze bypassing that apple fritter donut at breakfast, but then just can’t ignore those mixed munchies before dinner.
Another tactic to keep handy is: don’t just give up something you love. Replace it with something that’ll benefit you too. Rather than giving up baking cheesecake, take some time to whip up some delicious energy bites or healthy cranberry bliss bars instead.
GET LAZER FOCUSED AND MAKE IT CHALLENGING
Once you land a goal of choice, don’t make it too easy. Sure, it feels great when you get to cross something off the checklist, but if you lowball yourself then you might run the risk of not being long-run motivated. When it comes to kick-butt goals, we tend to gravitate towards the ones that test you just enough, victories are preferably trackable and goals are usually pretty specific to something you want success at.
ASK YOURSELF: ARE YOU LEARNING OR DOING?
To get the best bang out of your New Years promise, always keep asking yourself: “Is it working?” and “I’m I getting closer to crushing my target?”
Figuring out if you’ve got a learning goal like crunching numbers monthly to see how much and best you can save, or a doing goal like trying to save two grand by November, helps you get serious about moving up on your progress chart and assures that you keep motivated.
LOOK AT WHO’S AROUND YOU
It might sound a little new Age-y to say “most people tend to become the people they surround themselves with”, but we do have some science-backed facts to back it up! It’s called the Social Contagion theory – where study after study proves the people we hang out with most actually have a huge impact on how we behave.
So, as you step outside the box and attend that kick-boxing class or art workshop – it’s probably not a good idea to be hanging out with people who love fast food or think art might be a waste of time. Instead, team up with like-minded groups who keep you happy and motivated.
PREP & PRIME YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Just like hanging around the right people boosts your self-confidence – surrounding yourself with the right things matters too. Meaning, if you’re goal is heading to Europe this 2017, then doing thoughtful, strategic things like changing your computer password to “EUROPE2017” could keep you from doing too much of your favorite (yet pricey) past-times, like online shopping.
5 Simple Tricks to Beat the Winter Blues
Huge wallops of snowfall, holiday bills and sub-zero temperatures not feeling so great? You’re definitely not the only one. If your winter mood feels like it’s falling faster than your thermometer… Try these small lifestyle changes to boost your spirits!
MAKE YOUR HOUSE BRIGHTER
When it’s cloudy and chilly out still let as much natural lighting into your house/apartment as possible. Totally open up your curtains during your daytime hours, trim bushes around your windows, start cozy “bright-colored” paint projects and even trade in those darker fabrics for some light-colored upholstery.
Keep in mind that clutter is mentally disheartening, so clean up your space, sit closer to a window seat and grab those extra sun rays whenever you can.
Though it’s mighty tempting to stay tucked under the blanket, hot tea brewing with your fave series playing in the background – don’t stay in too often. Of course, a night to yourself here and there does wonders for the soul, but heading out to holiday parties and connecting with friends and family is a major mood booster. Cozy up by the fire with loved ones and laugh your way to staying warm… In the long run, friends brighten up your mood way more than your other good friend Netflix.
DODGE THE “SUGAR COMA”, EAT SMART
It’s true, as sluggish winter hits we tend to crave comfort foods like mac ‘n’ cheese, greasy pizza and sweet snacks in general. But filling yourself with sugar and carbohydrates only give temporary feel-good feelings, and ultimately leaves you feeling grosser and possibly depressed…
Instead, opt for complex carbs like yams, beans, spinach and skim milk – which take longer to digest (meaning they won’t cause spikes in blood sugar or create mood roller coasters). Not only do complex carbs fill you up, they provide long-lasting nourishment and up energy levels for you to stay positive in less desirable temps.
TAKE A WINTER VACATION
Who says you can’t take a mid-winter break? Save up your frequent flyer miles/vacation time and spend your February in Florida or the Caribbean. If you really can’t stand the icy cold, keep your spirits high by planning your getaway a few months ahead. Or, if snow is actually up your alley – escape to an idyllic cabin, change the scenery and enjoy a ski strip.
“When the weather outside is frightful”… Ladle up some soup at the local shelter and keep others warm and well fed. Taking time to volunteer (for causes you love) upsurges your own self-confidence, mental health and spurs that motivation to get out and about – no matter what the forecast. Why not embrace a sense of fulfillment, while filling up others during the holidays?