Making new year's resolutions is easy, but sticking to them can be downright difficult. As we inch our way through the first month of 2019, many of us may find that adhering to our freshly made personal promises is easier said than done. Whether it’s making healthier choices, spending less, saving more, or anything else you resolved to do, most new year's resolutions involve slaying old habits that are rarely broken with ease.
If you find yourself early into the new year and struggling to stick with it, we’re here to help. Brides spoke with professional life coach Shannon Maehr, CPC for expert advice to help us all stick to our resolutions (or make new ones—it’s never too late!) and feel successful in the new year.
One of the key ingredients to sticking to your resolutions is to possess a keen awareness of your true self. Maehr explains, “I think it’s important to become aware of who you really are, as opposed to who you think you are or who you were told to be—our consciousness.” She says that the higher your consciousness and acceptance of your true self, the greater success you’ll have.
With this knowledge, she explains, “You’ll be better able to set realistic expectations for yourself.” Generally, Maehr says we don’t typically do things that aren’t aligned with who we are, so accepting your who leads to an unlocking of your unlimited self.
“Who we believe ourselves to be leads to what we do and how we do it. Somewhere in between these three things, we start to evaluate (re-evaluate) and learn!”
Essentially, the better you truly know yourself, the more likely you are to make resolutions and changes that are more meaningful and easier to attain.
The Right Resolutions
While Maehr herself doesn’t make actual resolutions (she’s more of a goal-oriented to-do list maker but still believes in them!), she recommends asking yourself the following questions to come up with the most meaningful, empowering goals.
• What do I have now that I want more of? • What am I tolerating? • If I had no fear, what does that look like for me, personally and professionally?
By asking and answering these questions, you'll reap the benefits. “Get ready for your soul to soar!” says Maehr.
If You’re Struggling
If you’re already feeling down about your lack of consistency or progress, Maehr acknowledges it may be difficult. “You’re experiencing guilt, self-doubt, worry, fear, embarrassment, anxiety. … Should I keep going? We have all been there.” These feelings, she says, “resonate at a very low level of energy" that no nap—or slice of pizza—can cure.
First, address, acknowledge, and then attempt to control the emotions. By doing so, “we’re actually beginning to move ourselves to a higher level of energy because we’re taking responsibility for ourselves—our thoughts, our actions, our choices.” Once you start to reframe your experiences and tackle any self-sabotage, you’ll start to increase your self-worth and get back in the saddle.
If you notice you’re failing to see your resolution through while it’s actually happening, she recommends stopping to ask yourself, “Why is this important to me?” “How can this help me?” “How does this fit into my plan?” “Who am I when I do this?”
These questions can help you regroup and move forward in a more positive direction.
As it turns out, talking to yourself has many benefits.
“Repeat this for me,” says Maehr. "'I cannot make a mistake.' Breathe it in and start to accept this as truth. If you begin to believe this, then all that is left is the power of choice.” Choices, she says, are something we make all day, every day. And if you have chosen to do things that do not support your resolution, it's time to move on. How you choose to recover and rebound says more about your commitment than the failure itself, Maehr explains.
It’s Never Too Late
If you find you want to tweak, restart, or make new resolutions, go for it! “It is never too late for anything,” she says. “Anything can change in an instant. How important is your resolution? What about this goal is nonnegotiable for you?” Your goals and situations may change, and your resolutions should be flexible, too.
Maehr reiterates that the mind is our most powerful tool. Every great success, she says, “starts with an idea and the desire to achieve.” So, the best way to set yourself up for success is to simply get started. “Don’t wait—now is the time!” she says.