According to U.S. News, of those of us that make New Year’s resolutions 80% fail by February.
Turns out, I’m not one of them.
Now, granted, my resolutions weren’t grandiose, just basic goals to improve my life.
Many people choose exercising as made apparent by all the extra gym members for the month of January.
Some may decide to eat healthy, quit a vice, get out of debt or save money, spend more time with family. or something like being less stressed or happier.
These are all great resolutions and would benefit anyone who can keep them.
But how do you keep your New Year’s resolutions?
Start by only choosing one resolution.
Too many resolutions are overwhelming and sets yourself up for failure. So, choose one and when you succeed then you can move on to another goal.
For me, my first successful resolution was to floss regularly.
It looks so lame typed out.
But it was my New Year’s resolution in 2006 and still part of my daily routine 14 years later.
So, what was the one trick I found that let me be successful?
Build failure into the resolution.
Yup, part of my resolution includes me messing up.
It’s the one thing that throws us off track of any resolution, or goal for that matter.
You probably find that when the New Year rolls around or a new month, or even a Monday, you find you have all this motivation and enthusiasm to complete your goals.
And then you screw up.
Maybe you keep going.
Then you screw up again.
You encounter an obstacle. Things are tough.
Suddenly all the enthusiasm wanes and the next screw up, you say, ‘screw it’ and give up.
But instead of letting it get to that point, acknowledge that you will not be perfect.
For flossing, my resolution was “Floss my teeth 5 days a week.” (Still sounds lame).
My dental hygienist was concerned and asked me why only 5.
I told her that I knew life happens and there would be days where I couldn’t (or just flat out didn’t want to) and I didn’t want the slip ups to make me quit.
If I got all 5 of my flossing days in and decided to keep going I could and eventually I did and it became part of my morning routine.
But if I had a reason not to in the beginning, it was no big deal because I gave myself screw up days each week.
This worked for me with a gym resolution the following year as well.
This year’s resolution is to practice gratitude (using a journal) three days a week.
I’d love to make it five, but I really want this one to stick and I know my schedule at the moment so three will probably be just right.
Struggling to come up with a resolution? Skip it.
I’m sure you set goals in other ways and the above tip works for any goal you set for yourself not just on New Year’s Day.
If you would like some eco-friendly resolutions, I’ve put together a list below for you along with some wiggle room for fails (just in case).
1. Give up one single-use plastic item in your home.
Single-use plastic is a huge problem worldwide-it’s the worst kind of litter because it doesn’t break down, it’s not likely to get recycled, and companies keep making more.
Try finding an alternative for just one product and see how it goes. If you made the transition, you can push the resolution farther and make it two products.
Make it simple.
• Switch to a bamboo toothbrush
• Use a shampoo bar instead of a bottle
• Buying loose produce instead of packaged
• Use powder detergent in a box
Maybe you try switching a product and it doesn’t work for you.
Don’t sweat it, try something else.
Find one item to be successful with.
Once you do the plastic will be on your radar all the time and you might be tempted to try more, like these easy zero waste kitchen swaps.
2. Pick up one piece of rubbish and put it in a bin when you are out with your family.
This is a good one to do as a family. When you’re on an outing, each commit to putting one piece of litter in a bin.
This is easy to do at parks, beaches, or in town. Anywhere there are facilities to wash your hands after. Once everyone has picked up their one piece, you continue enjoying your outing.
If you don’t have a way to clean your hands after, skip it. There’s no need to expose yourself or your family to extra germs.
3. Volunteer once a quarter.
Only 4 times in the year. You and I know that life gets hectic, especially with kids, but volunteering is just as good for you as it is for whoever you choose to help.
Find a cause you would like to support and sign up. If you didn’t like the experience, find another and try again in a few months.
The idea is to just do it. Commit it to the diary and don’t change it. It’s only 4 times and who knows, you may find you enjoy it so much that you volunteer more maybe you involve your family, too.
4. Make Self-Care a Priority
Ok, so this isn’t really an eco-friendly resolution, but a happier, more relaxed version of you makes the world a better place so let’s say this falls under greenish.
As a mum, we feel like we haven’t a second to ourselves and often find we don’t even rank in top 5 for who/what we take care of first.
Time for a change.
Taking time for yourself is huge in helping your mental health, motivation, and well-being in general.
Taking care of you makes you a better mum, a better partner, a better person because you are giving you what you need.
• Pick one day a week to give yourself 30 minutes of pampering.
A facial? Pedicure? You don’t have to pay to have this done. I do a face mask once a week. 15 minutes relaxing and then a shower.
I have found showering in the evening when Lee is home allows me some flexibility in how long I can take. Find what works for you.
Just drink water so your wee doesn’t stink and is light yellow. Picking so many glasses to drink is hard to commit to.
Instead carry a bottle with you.
I like to drink a glass of water after each wee. Put back what came out, right?
• Give yourself a bedtime.
Yes, having some quiet time without the kids is lovely, but staying up to enjoy more just leads to a run-down, potentially crankier version of you.
Making sleep a priority gives you more energy during the day and keeps you healthier because your body has time to fight off the bugs you encounter during the day.
If you set an early bedtime, you can also wake up before the kids and have a quiet hour to yourself to prep for the day.
I have not made this a habit myself (yet) but can say that having that hour in the morning is a beautiful thing and makes me quite productive, too.
• Learn a skill
What is something you have wanted to learn to do? Make it your resolution to commit to learn it.
Pay the money and find a class once a week so it doesn’t strain anyone taking care of the kids and doesn’t burn you out.
Most local colleges offer adult courses in hobby-type skills like sewing and cake decorating. You can also look to specific studios for yoga, dance, and martial arts, etc.
If it’s something you really want to do and enjoy, taking the slow and steady route to get there won’t be a bad thing.
Once you have set your resolution or goals for the coming year, remember to give yourself some grace. Progress is better than perfection. Celebrate the wins instead of focusing on the fails.
Life isn’t perfect and once you realise that you won’t be either, it’s much easier to be content and enjoy the process of improving your life, no matter how many tries it takes.
What is your resolution for this year? Comment below and let me know what strategies keep you on track.