5 Ways to Restart Your Resolutions This Spring
Sure, I resolved to "be better about flossing" and "do more crunches" in my list of resolutions for 2016. I even spoke my resolutions aloud in my work wellness group to reinforce ethem. And then, upon re-reading them, I wondered how long those goals would last. A little research told me that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually achieve them.
As it turns out, maybe New Year's just isn't the best time to make resolutions. Maybe we should all be waiting until the snow melts and the flowers start to bloom. Isn't that a better setting to tap into your motivated self anyway? Here are five ways to restart your resolutions this spring, so you actually achieve them.
1. Remember That Goals Can Be Made Anytime
We like to make resolutions in January, because it's the traditional time to do so, and that "new year, fresh start" feeling is palpable and contagious. By breaking free of that January tradition, you might be able to actually achieve success. According to StatisticBrain, the top New Year's Resolutions in 2015 were:
- Lose weight
- Spend less, save more
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Stay fit and healthy
- Learn something exciting
- Quit smoking
- Help others
- Fall in love
- Spend more time with family
Sure, it's easy to hop on the scale January 1 and resolve to move more and consume less, but when the days are short and your energy is at an all-time low, it can be tough to get motivated. Why not start that new fitness chapter of your life once the snow melts and when being outdoors is actually bearable?
And for "spend less, save more," wouldn't reviewing your financial goals after your taxes are done make more sense? That's a very natural time to review what you've done, and see where you need to work harder. April, then, could be a month to begin setting financial goals.
Many of these resolutions can be implemented at any point during the year. There is nothing magical about starting them in January.
2. Learn to Exercise Because You Want to, Not Because You Have To
A soon-to-be-published Duke University study found that measurement of exercise "Has these pernicious effects. Enjoyable activities can become almost like a job, by forcing out the outcomes of things that used to be fun," said Professor Etkin, of the results.
I'm guilty of that. I like to write tasks down, and then cross them off. In doing those crunches, I'm not focusing on whether I'm doing them well, and using good form. I'm just counting them. I see a lot of this on Twitter, in tweets about how far a person has walked, or the amount of exercise performed. Instead, find something that's actually enjoyable, and it will feel less like a chore and more like a treat. (See also: 5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money)
3. Get Focused on Being Frugal
What do many of us do in January? We pay, or begin to pay, our credit card bills. Christmas was merry, but the Macy's bill isn't. And yet, what do we do? Join gyms. Buy exercise equipment. We pile debt upon debt in the name of self-improvement. And then tax season hits and we're back to suffering through another financial stress period.
Once Tax Day passes, look at springtime as a fresh start for your finances. Banish the urge to buy a new spring wardrobe and focused on becoming more frugally-minded instead.
4. Use Winter as a Recovery Period
After the delightful fun vibe of the holiday season, we put away our decorations and gear up for the new year. Many of us have put off big work projects until the holidays are over, since it's frustrating trying to coordinate meetings or meet deadlines at the end of the year. So, work in the winter becomes one long day after another. If you have resolved to go to the gym before or after work, that's just one more thing you need to get done each day. If you are already stressed about bills, work, family pressures, or other areas of your life, this is the wrong time to try to "better yourself."
What's best is to get your life in a calmer place, first. Think of winter as a recovery time for every aspect of your life, and use the dewy beauty of spring for rejuvenation and goal achievement.
5. Go Slow and Steady Toward Your Goals
Would you like to make a lot of self-improvements? First, remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Next, try making a list. Pick the one thing on that list that is the most important to you. Make sure it's realistic. When you feel you are ready to try to achieve this goal (meaning not stressed out about other parts of your life), give it a while. If, after a month or two, you are sticking with it, then add another. Be like the tortoise, and you'll get there way before the hare.
Will you restart your resolutions this spring? Let us know in the comments!
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