Broke Your New Year's Resolution? Try 12 Monthly Micro-Resolutions Instead
Scrap your New Year's Resolutions and Word of the Year and try these manageable, monthly intentions instead
We have reached the beginning of another year. It’s time for me to refocus and set some goals for 2019. I hesitate to say “resolutions” because in my experience — they never work. In previous years, I would choose a word for the year to drive my choices and actions, but noticed I lost focus on my word last year. When life got busy, I was unable to think about what was important to me at the beginning of the year.
This year I’m going to try something new. I find that these days I do better with small changes and little steps. They are far more manageable and easier for me to focus on. Each month I am going to choose one thing to think about. I will do my best to incorporate that thing into my life for the whole month. If I like the change, I can choose to carry it on into the next month. If it was a bust, I will move on and try something new. Hopefully, at the end of 12 months, my small changes will have moved me closer to where I want to be.
I guess this might by my own version of that old saying: "The journey of a thousand steps starts with one."
I did a trial run with this at the end of last year when I decided not to eat red meat for a month. I noticed I wasn’t feeling great after I ate it, so I wanted to do an experiment and see if I noticed a change after removing it from my diet. And guess what? It worked. I stopped; I felt better; and I’ve continued to avoid it for about three months now.
Instead of obsessing over everything I ate, all I had to think about was choosing something other than beef at mealtime. It became easier and easier as I started feeling the positive effects of cutting it out of my diet. Choices become habits. Habits are what can change you. I don’t know if I’ll continue doing this forever, but right now it feels like the right decision for me. And, it made me want to find other small choices I can focus on to build upon my success with this one.
If big life changes overwhelm you like they do for me, why not try making just one small change? And then another. And another. I think we will be surprised where we end up at the end of this year after we are able to string together a number of small changes that make our lives better.
Here are some ideas I’m contemplating:
- Stop eating sugar. (This is an advanced, Phase II idea!)
- Take 10,000 steps daily.
- Read for fun.
- Find a minimum of one thing to donate to charity each day.
- Go for a walk.
- Cook dinner at home.
- Stop snacking between meals.
- Start meal-planning for the week.
- Avoid social media on the weekends.
- Learn something new.
Maureen Churchill works full-time outside the home and is a mom to one wonderful little boy.