Mid year tune ups
We start the year with such enthusiasm, and resolutions: I am going to get fit, run 10kms, work and study harder, be nicer to my little brother, eat veggies with every meal, and write a book… all before next Tuesday. But by February, our lofty goals are often forgotten. By May, they are ancient history!
Well, I say, why wait for New Year’s Day or next month or Monday to start making changes? Forget resolutions! Focus on how you can take steps today to keep your big plans on track.
1. Change one thing
Sometimes we have soooo many things we want to change, or we set the goal posts too far away, so we make it nearly impossible to achieve our goals. Then as you see your chances and progress slipping away, we get disheartened and give up. That’s like dieting for a week and giving up when you don’t drop 10 kilos in just seven days!
Pick one thing for now. You want to exercise two times next week. Or you want to try a healthy food you’ve never eaten before. Or if you are out of the house already, maybe you resolve to call Mom on Sunday, every Sunday. If you have only one thing to achieve in the short term, then you can achieve it relatively easily, and get a boost of positivity to keep going. Then try do that one thing for a couple of weeks in a row. When it becomes a habit, then you can look at adding another one thing to your plan. Just don’t overwhelm yourself.
2. Start now, right now
Action is critical when it comes to keeping to the big changes we want to make in our lives. It is hard to get started, but often once you get going and get excited by the early results you start to see then it becomes easier to just keep at it.
So, instead of waiting to make a big chance, start right now. If you want to get fitter, go for a walk today. If you want to save up some money, start right now by sticking R5 or whatever you have got in a jar or box. If you put R60 aside every month from today, you’ll have R480 by the end of the year. If getting healthier is one of your goals, you can make big changes now, and be reaping the benefits – feeling healthy and confident – in a couple of months. Don’t wait till December and then say “oh I wish I had started earlier”, start now.
3. Make commitments
It might help to get someone else “on your team”. Call up a friend and arrange to go for a walk with them after school. If you’ve committed to someone, you’re less likely to just laugh it off later when you’re not feeling as keen. If you’re saving money, tell your friend or your mom or someone. That way, they can gently suggest you skip buying another pink skirt, or junk food, or whatever, and rather put the money away.
If you don’t want to involve someone else, you can write a note to yourself, and put it in your wallet, so every time you mindlessly decide to buy something, you get a reminder to stop and rather save.
You could also make a “countdown” poster as another way to remind yourself of your big plans and to keep you accountable. Write goals on each week, so you can track your progress against it.
Tell us, choma: What are the big changes you want to make in your life, and how do you plan to achieve them?
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