(image from barefootmeds.wordpress.com)
It’s inevitable. A new year arrives right after the happiest season of the year. With all the good vibes from Christmas, plus tradition’s obsession towards “turning over a new leaf” whenever we change the calendar, we fall into a common situation—making half-assed New Year’s Resolutions.
The most common ones are saving up, doing better in one’s career/ school performance, eating healthy, dedicating an ample amount of time for exercise, quitting smoking (or any other bad, perhaps illegal, habit) and “loving one’s self better”. Although I don’t want to sabotage your plans, I see a lot of youngsters still carrying the Ningas Cogon attitude. One, two, three days they’re dedicated, the rest of the year, they’re not. Then they just repeat the same set of resolutions by next year. I’m sure you also know this feeling—we’ve all been there. But if you still find yourself in the same trap year after year after year, here’s the time when you have to put a stop to that madness.
1. First off, you have to make sure that your resolution is measurable, realistic and reasonable. If you weigh 300 lbs., it might be very difficult to (try to) achieve a weight of 110 lbs. by the end of March. Remember, it also has to be specific. If your resolution is simply to “lose weight” or “look better”, that puts in little accountability for you. Stick to specifics like “lose 50 lbs. in 8 months” or “take up dance classes everyday”. That way, your goal is clearer in your head.
2. You don’t need a holiday to change. Yes, smoking is bad for your health. Yes, you need to have at least 6 months of your salary as your savings/ emergency fund. Yes, your waistline is approaching the size of the equator so you need to drop some pounds. You don’t need your calendar to say January 1 just for you to realize your bad habits. Don’t wait for new year. Change ASAP. You’ll be a better person, trust me.
3. Think negatively. Now, that headline might shock you but sometimes, when your “thinspirations” don’t work, and when posting a photo of your dream vacation and your dream car just can’t beat the your nights-out of spending and impulsive shoe purchases, maybe it’s time to take a different approach. Remind yourself how bad it felt when you were dead broke. Remind yourself how you hate wearing swimsuits because they emphasize your back fat. Remind yourself of everyone who died early because their lungs finally reaped the “rewards” of smoking. Then think how you don’t want that to happen to you and that is why you’re working towards a better you.
4. Make it a habit, and do so smartly. Developing a habit doesn’t take a lot. In fact, studies say that if you did something at the same place and time for 21 times, it becomes a habit. Do something one day at a time, treating it like a little victory each time until you just get used to it. For example, a few years ago, I vowed to earn XXX amount of money per month. I was a writer then and I divided that amount by the days that I spent working. So in a day, I don’t stop writing until I was sure I already earned the amount assigned for that day. I just kept increasing my personal quota until I get to my ideal today. It doesn’t feel so tasking given that I’ve been doing it for years. You might even surprise yourself along the way.
5. Tell people about it. Uh yeah, they will be pressuring you. And if that will make you want to move your butt, then all’s well, right? By getting others involved in your journey towards a better life/ body/ financial standing, pressure will multiply because you’re also working towards fulfilling certain expectations. And that’s still good. Because at the end, you get what you want. If you need some societal whipping, then so be it.
Feeling better already? Remember, you’ll feel sooooo much better when you finally get to your goals this year. So cheers to the New Year and cheers to better versions of us!
PS My resolution this year is to go to dance class at least 5 times a week.