Every year, New Year’s has a way of smacking us in the face. We get through an entire year, manage to survive the hectic holidays, and then have to think about which resolutions we want to make before New Year’s Eve comes around. For most, this is a time to set the intention for the year. Maybe this means eating a little healthier, going to the gym more often, or just reducing stress. Maybe its something bigger- like changing your life course or finding deeper meaning on why you are here in the first place?
No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are, they are almost always about bettering yourself and creating a new you for the year ahead.
The thing about these resolutions is that they don’t have to wait until New Year’s day, you can actually get started on them right now, and it may be better if you do.
Getting started on your goals for the coming year before the holiday’s get under way can help make the coming year the best one yet, and can help you establish goals well before that midnight ball drop on New Year’s Eve.
You can make long lasting changes and feel healthy and radiant even before those holiday family dinners come around. Let’s take a look at why creating high-performance habits before New Year’s will be more beneficial to you in the long haul.
Why You Should Be Implementing Healthier Habits Now
Did you know that it takes the average person a little over two months to create a habit? (1)
Contrary to popular belief, scientific research has found that it takes much longer than 21 days to form a habit; it actually takes about 66 days to build sustainable habits that stick around long term. Of course, this is very individualistic, and behavioral based as it all comes down to commitment levels, and what type of habit you are trying to create, but on average you will need to work on new lifestyle habits for two months before they stick.
So, why does this matter, what does this have to do with implementing healthier lifestyle habits for the new year? If you started to implement changes right now as opposed to waiting until January 1st, you would be much more likely to stick to your resolutions for the entire year. If you start January first, you may lose motivation, and fall off the bandwagon. Getting started now gives yourself a kick start, and by the time New Year’s comes around you may already be halfway to that 66-day mark where a new habit is made.
Don’t wait until the last minute, start making the changes now.
You Can Accomplish A lot More!
If you start thinking about what it is you want to change now, you can accomplish a ton between now and New Years! If you put your goals off until January, you are losing out on valuable time that you could use to get started on them. Just think about all of the things that you can get done within the next couple of weeks, and how much better you will feel once you get started on them. Make yourself feel accomplished jumping into the new year ready to tackle your goals.
There’s Less Pressure:
If you start now, you reduce a ton of stress and pressure from your plate. There is so much pressure surrounding New Year’s resolutions, and unnecessarily so. If you get started now, you will have no reason to feel that stress. You can take your time implementing the changes and feel much more accomplished. Don’t fall into the trap of hyping up your resolutions only to feel disappointed a few months later. Starting now allows you to commit to yourself, and you are more likely to stick to it long-term without any expectations from others.
Start Now to Reevaluate Later
Why wait until January 1st to start working towards something you want? Not only can you start making the changes now, but starting early allows you to reevaluate how things are going on New Year’s Day. Do you need to change your method of reaching this goal, or are you progressing along? Giving yourself some time to test the waters and figure out how to reach your goal best before New Year’s is an excellent way to set yourself up for success.
You’re Much More Likely to Set Realistic Goals
When you start your New Year’s goals early, there's a better chance you are going to be realistic about them. During New Year’s there is a lot of pressure to set very big goals that may not be very practical for your life. Getting started earlier allows you to determine what is going to work for you, and gives you more time to really dig deep and think about exactly what you want to change or work towards. Start early to be more realistic and more successful with your goals by the end of the year.
How to Get Started
Step #1: Write it Down
The best way to start working on your goals is to write it down. Instead of writing down broad goals such as “lose weight,” or “take better care of myself,” write out a detailed plan. Determine what exactly you need to do to achieve this goal. If you want to take better care of yourself this year, you may want to start penciling in five minutes of meditation per day to help reduce stress. If you’re looking to lose weight this year, figure out how much you want to lose and then determine how much weight you need to lose per month to make that a reality. Getting organized and writing it down whether it be in a journal on your desk, or your phone will help you crush these goals throughout the year.
Step #2: Think About Your Goals Holistically
Instead of picking unrealistic goals, think about what you really need to change in your life to make you a better you. Do you lack relaxation in your life? Maybe you don’t have enough time for fun and enjoyment? Think about exactly what’s missing and make some goals to change that. Creating a new and healthy lifestyle is all about changing the way things are now to make them better and more efficient for you!
At the end of the day, it’s all about jumping into the new year doing just a little bit more for yourself than you did last year.
Step #3: Set up a Reward System
No long-term goal is successful without some type of reward! Once you decide what your resolutions are, think about how you will reward yourself when you stick to them for a certain amount of time. The great thing is that if you start early, you can reach your first milestone by New Year’s Eve! Set a milestone such as exercise four days per week before December 31st, and reward yourself with something healthy. This could be a massage, a new top, or just a day out with friends or family. Having a reward system in place is an excellent way to be sure you keep on top of your goals. Set up rewards throughout the year to keep yourself motivated, and always put a time limit on the milestone to be sure you reach them when planned.
Step #4: Be a Leader
If you’re starting your resolutions early, be a pack leader and have your friends and family join you! Being a leader and role model for a healthier lifestyle doesn’t only help your friends and family, but it helps you as well. This will help keep you motivated, moving towards that goal and reaching each milestone. You would be surprised to see just how much a solid support system does for staying on top of your resolutions.
Step #5: Get Started
Ok, you have everything you need to get started! You have set high-performance goals, you've been realistic about them and you've a reward and support system, now it’s time to get started. Even if you only start a few days before New Year’s, you are way ahead of when most people start, and you give yourself a little leeway to determine what works and what doesn’t. Get started and keep pushing until you conquer those goals!
Waiting for New Year’s Day is not always the best approach to tackling your New Year’s resolutions. As you can see starting early not only gives you more time to think about what goals you want to reach but it also takes a lot of stress and pressure off of these resolutions.
Goals that are backed by too much stress are doomed to fail.
Take the time now to figure out what your resolutions are, what these are going to mean for your life, and get started on them now. You will be much happier, feel much more accomplished, and New Year’s will have a whole new meaning to it. You can now relax, and enjoy the holiday without stressing about coming up with unrealistic expectations for yourself. You would have already been working on a new version of you even before New Year’s Day arrives.
Did this information help you in any way to start the New Year off right?
What are the top 3 changes you'd like to make this year?
Share your opinion in the comments or email me!