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It’s only been a few weeks but it already feels like New Year’s Eve was ages ago. Sure the gym is still packed but resolutions don’t really feel like a hot topic at this point.

I’ll be the first to admit that I love any excuse to feel like it’s time for a fresh start. New year, new job, new boots… whatever administers a little bit of change and evolution. I do, however, hate all of the hubbub around resolutions, drastic lifestyle changes and the feeling of disappointment that comes when you can’t reach all of your goals.

I always make a list right before nye that loosely outlines where I want to see growth in the coming twelve months. Notice that I said loosely. I’ve learned that hard lines around my ambitions doesn’t lead to success for me. I need to feel a sense of flexibility while I’m attempting to make a change because let’s be real, we’re all set in our ways and habits are incredibly hard to break.

I have a lot of things I’m focusing on in the new year but I’ll use the most cliché example; health. Oy. Always and forever this will on everyone’s list and for obvious reasons. CHRISTMAS COOKIES! Yum. So in order for me to improve my health I wanted to get more active and eat better overall. Pretty simple…sort of. If these aren’t habits you’ve already implemented then you definitely need a plan of action. It’s just that my plan of action takes baby steps when most resolutions seem to be CHANGE EVERYTHING NOW FOR IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION. We all know that’s a lie but feed into it anyway. It takes so much longer than we think to develop anything new.

So how have I been succeeding so far:

  1. I make sure I have a smoothie most days. That way, even if I slip up and eat pizza and cupcakes the rest of the time I can still rest assured that my body is getting some good stuff no matter what. The obvious perk is that if I start my day with a smoothie I often feel like I’ve got a good thing going and don’t want to “ruin” it with junk food. I therefore tend to make healthier choices throughout the day which overall is leading to more and more progress. Yay vegetables!
  2. I’m also trying to workout 3-5 times a week. This is where it becomes very important that I don’t put myself in a box. I don’t say, “I’m going to do yoga every Tuesday.” or, “I’ll workout every day after work.” I know myself and I can work up to that discipline but am I there yet? No. Sometimes I’m going to need to Netflix for the night after work just to make it through all the dark and cold hours and I’m giving myself some grace on those days. Yes, I want to prioritize working out but by doing it on my terms I’m more likely to follow through. By making a more general goal on a weekly basis rather than locking myself into something specific I’m able to see how that goal becomes fluid and easier to achieve.

Like I said, this is just one example. This year I want to write a children’s book. I want to become a blogger. I want to create a short film. All things that I want to see progress as the weeks go by but all things that I’m not giving a deadline. I really do believe that giving yourself some space when setting parameters can only increase the odds of accomplishment. It becomes less, “I have to do this.” and more, “I want to prioritize this.” This approach has been working for me thus far, so remember, baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were rock hard abs. What approach is working for you?

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 “EAT ME!”