It’s Two Weeks Until Your New Year’s Resolutions Die Young

How to Change your Resolution Mindset so you can Breathe New Life into your Goals, any time of the year.

I joined a gym in December and it was never crowded or busy. I went on the 2nd of January around 4 pm, thinking it wouldn’t be busy since most people would not be done with their work day. Boy, was I wrong! By the end of January I expect the gym to go back to it’s normal non-crowded status.

Most people quit their resolutions by the third week of January. Before you give up, try these tips for reworking, rewording, and reevaluating those resolutions.

What kind of resolutions or goals did you set for your homeschool this January? Or were you one of the many people who opted-out of the whole resolution thing? Perhaps you opted out because you are always reevaluating and refining your life and your homeschool operations. Or, maybe you have just given up on goals and resolutions because you know how likely you are to fail, so why try?

Maybe your life is perfect just the way it is?

I don’t much like New Year’s Resolutions myself. If something needs changing in my life I am certainly not going to wait for New Year’s to decide to do something about it.

But a good life is a life of growth. Growth requires that we reach towards new things, towards bettering ourselves. And as we do that reaching there are ways of stating our purpose that can move us forward, and other ways of stating our purpose which can hold us back.

In this post I want to talk about tweaks we can use to change our mindset around goals and resolutions we create. I hope some of these idea’s will keep you from giving up on your goals in two weeks time and create the mindset shift you need to be dedicated to the long-term fruition of your goals.

Focus on Gain, not loss. Bounty, no deprivation. Abundance, not lack.

For an example, I will tackle a very common goal and show you how you can shift it. Do you want to lose weight? Perhaps you have made a list of all the foods you will not eat this year. Or even purged your cupboards and thrown away all processed foods and sugar. But how long will that last before you give in at the supermarket on a hungry day, or give in to the cries of your family who is sure your prime objective in life is to torment them until death.

What if, instead of creating that vacuum, which is desparatley calling to be filled, and using a lot of your energy to resist filling it, you created an abundance of real food in your home?

What if you focused on adding in some healthy and yummy vegtable sides to every meal? What if you kept the house better stocked up on fruit? What if before you reach for the candy, you eat fruit instead.

Instead of counting calories and limiting yourself to a certain number, count the number of fruits and vegetables you eat everyday. Set a goal to consume a certain amount. Eat that first. I know this is not as exciting as saying you are going to lose 30 lbs. this year. But we know long-term weight loss is about dietary changes. We also know that small changes are easier to maintain than sweeping revolutions.

What about in your homeschool? One thing I hear a lot of moms say is that they want to be more consistent. This has to be drilled down, but you also have to get to the root cause of your inconsistency. Are you lazy, distracted, or are you exhausted and trying to do more than you actually have the time and energy for every day?

Instead of saying you will be more consistent, think about one thing you want to have more of in your homeschool day. Perhaps read-aloud time? Math inspiration? Art study? Time outside? More exercise for everyone? Whatever it is, make the space for it. Pick one thing that you are going to practice being consistent with. Do that one thing everyday rain, or shine.

But make sure that you aren’t just failing in being consistent because you have set yourself up with an insurmountable to-do list. This is very easy and very tempting to do, and denial of that fact is also pretty easy. Just don’t write up a schedule and you can keep pretending you are not trying to do too much. Or, just leave down-time out of your written schedule. The one thing we cannot hide from is feeling like a failure every day because we did not get everything done. If you fail every day that is your sign that you are trying to do too much. Whether or not you think you SHOULD be able to do all of those things is irrelevant. If you can’t, you can’t. In that case, you do need some limiting goals. You need to dedicate to doing less. It is not healthy for your brain to set yourself up for daily failure. Nothing will ruin your attempts to be consistent more than knowing ahead of time that you will fail, so make plans so simple you will succeed, and then celebrate your success.

Make Your Goal into a Daily Event

Instead of sweeping New’s Year’s resolutions that will take a year to achieve, think about 5 or 10 minute tasks that will bring blessings to your year, each and every day.

I would also say, focus on just a few of these. It might be actually taking a quick shower every day so you feel refreshed and get a few minutes to yourself.

It might be writing in a journal while you drink your coffee instead of scrolling social media.

It might be singing a silly song with your kids in the morning before you dive into the school day to get everyone into a good mood.

Or eating a kiwi.

Or taking a walk around the block.

Don’t underestimate the power of these mini-goals. People who shun such goals have probably never tried them. Making the goal so easy, that it takes more mental energy to avoid doing it, then just getting it done, is one way to grow healthy habits.

Don’t forget your environment.

The things around you play a key role in what you will do. This is why people who throw away all their junk food sometimes find it is just what they needed to do before they could lose weight. They removed the temptation from the immediate environment. (However, if you don’t take the time to restock with lots of healthy and easy alternative you will likely not sustain those empty cupboards. Which is why I like a more moderate approach of just gradually getting healthy things into the cupboards and buying less junk because there isn’t room for it.)

If you are going to eat a kiwi everyday you better buy kiwis everytime you go to the store, and make sure you have enough to get you through to the next trip.

If you are going to walk around the block, you better already have your shoes on, cause if you are hanging out in your slippers and it is slightly damp or hot outside you may decide the weather isn’t good enough for walking. but if your shoes are already on, it is just a matter of opening the door.

If you want to be more consistent with getting through the whole math lesson every day you need to create an environment that encourages the accomplishment. This means a lot of things. Picking a good time of day, for both you and your student. having a good curriculum, having a lesson that is short enough to be accomplished before your child’s brain hits overload, and having something fun to look forward to after the task is accomplished. It could be as simple as outside playtime, reading a great story, or playing a game with mom.

Have a happy year setting yourself up for success.

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