Hi guys! I’m Jessica. I write and take photos for One Simple Thing, a blog that tells my story as a mom who is learning to cook, trying to simplify, and slowing down to really enjoy life – one simple thing at a time.
So let’s talk New Year. It’s here. Can you believe it? Every January 1st, I decide I’m going to be this amazing new person who eats better, works out, calls my mom everyday, sends cute handmade birthday presents, and unplugs from technology more often. You too?
Someone recently told me that Americans keep about 8% of the resolutions we make each year. Although that didn’t surprise me, it did get me wondering about things. Why we make resolutions in the first place and what we might do to help make our resolutions a reality.
One of the ideas I toss around my head a lot is that small and simple changes, when put together, can lead to some really big things. So this year, I’m changing my plan and I’m starting with a resolution about resolutions. I’m going small. I’m going manageable. I’m setting mini-resolutions.
Think large and lofty and then break that goal down into MINI-RESOLUTIONS.
My lofty resolution is to be healthier through diet, exercise, and more time unplugged from technology. My mini-resolutions for diet include things like drinking a glass of water at lunch, eating a nutritious breakfast that involves greens, cutting back on alcohol. I have lots of others, but I’m sure you get the gist. In January, I’ll start with an additional glass of water. Simple, right? Totally doable. And I’ll start forming a habit. When the timing is right, I’ll move on to something new.
Many of us have probably heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit.
This is actually a myth. Habit forming is very individualized. It depends on the habit and you and your motivation to change. On average, studies show it takes about 66 days to make something habitual! Of course, my hope is that creating very small habits takes less time than that. I planned on setting new mini-resolutions each month but I’ll probably play it more by ear. I’ll start new habits when ready – even if that means it takes me a few months to get it in place.
Here are some other things to think about when setting your mini-resolutions.
- Focus on creating new habits rather than breaking old ones. Action oriented resolutions. Instead of cutting out all sweets (I’m a sugar junkie), I might decide to eat a green smoothie everyday. Instead of losing ten pounds, I’ll decide to take a walk every afternoon after lunch.
- Congratulate yourself on your successes. It feels weird, but sometimes you just need to hear that you’re awesome. So say it. Write yourself a post-it. Put a reminder in your phone. Be your own cheerleader. Positive reinforcement will push you further. And if you don’t meet your goal one day, don’t let guilt drag you down. Forget about it and do better the next time.
- Try to anchor your new habit by doing it at the same time every day. It helps if you associate your new habit with an already established habit. Maybe you drink your water as soon as you brush your teeth every morning. Or take your walk immediately after eating breakfast.
- Keep tabs on your progress. Keep a journal. Blog about it. Document on Instagram. Whatever it takes. What ever works best for you. Share your successes and difficulties. Find support if it works for you.
- Accountability helps but so does self-reflection. How are you feeling about your resolutions? If you’re not feeling successful, think about your goal. Perhaps instead of waking up an hour earlier, you can wake up 30 minutes earlier. Or five minutes earlier. Start where you feel successful and if you set the bar at the wrong place, don’t be afraid to change course.
I will be documenting my mini-resolutions over on my blog if you’d like to follow along or join me. I hope you will! It’s so much more fun to make changes together.
May this New Year be your healthiest and happiest. And thanks to Stacy for letting me share my ideas with you. I’m so excited to be here.
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Latest posts by Jessica Sliman (see all)
- Healthy Breakfast: Black Rice Porridge - January 20, 2014
- Mini Resolutions: Small Steps Towards A Better Year - January 13, 2014