Got your New Year’s resolutions yet? New year, new you? *Cue the eye rolling* The biggest problem with plans for a new you? The old you.
Old you thinking that new you will start exercising, lose weight, get engaged by February 14th, or leave that “lousy no-good jerk” by March 1st? If you are like the rest of us, chances are that old you has given up every year on those new you resolutions within a month.
Why Does Old You Quit on New You So Easily?
New you gets distracted, lazy or just is as busy and preoccupied with life as old you.
It’s not because old you sucks. It’s because old you needs to make a plan for success.
New You Is Too Much
The underlying problem is nothing new. The saying, “Our eyes are bigger than our bellies” dates back to the 14th century essay Of the Cannibals which adds, “For we grasp at all, but catch nothing but wind.”
When we actually walk right up to something, it can start to look insurmountable. New you doesn’t give up – it just starts the procrastination.
Worthwhile goals will feel insurmountable–but you can do it.
“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” -Mahatma Gandhi
The 10 Steps To New You
Once the excitement and momentum of the new year have worn off, here are 10 scientifically proven ways to help you to keep moving forward:
Start with the big picture resolution.
Trust that change is possible (possibly the most important step) “Who am I kidding, I can’t change.” You know what old you loves about this sentence? It means that old you can’t be held responsible for doing (or not doing) something that is totally out of your control. Guilt-free failure! *more eye rolling*
Make a written plan.
Write down small daily and/or weekly goals. Then focus on the day to day. Be specific. Don’t say, “I’m gonna lose 30 pounds.” Say, “I’m going to lose 1 pound per week for 30 weeks.” (a good goal and pace, by the way).
Change your schedule. When will you have the time to take these steps towards your goal? Old you doesn’t have time now? New you won’t have time either. Figure out what things you do that don’t add value to your day.
Change your surroundings. If one step towards losing weight is to stop snacking, get rid of snack foods at home. Planning to pack a healthy lunch? When will you pack it? What will you pack?
Map out the pitfalls of years past. Where have you given up in the past? What is likely to get in your way (or will you put in your way)? New you is going to say, “Screw it.” Old you knows this. How will new you get past it?
Tell the police. Seriously. Establish some accountability. Enlist a friend, spouse or even your kids. New you, when left alone, is devious and will find an excuse to procrastinate.
Keep it simple.
Be nice to yourself. Show compassion. It takes a while to make changes. Old and new you are going to mess up. Regroup, dust off and get back to it.