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A New Approach to New Year's Resolutions

I’m taking a completely new approach to New Year’s Resolutions for 2021.

Instead of coming up with my list of soul crushing, guilt inducing resolutions that I’ve completely forgotten about by Valentines Day - I'm taking on 2021 as my year of brain training with, wait for it...micro goals!!! Ta Da!

I often look up words when I begin to write these posts, and today I took a look at the definition of resolution vs. resolute. Google defines resolution as a noun, meaning a firm decision to do or not to do something. Resolute is an adjective, meaning admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.

To start, I’m thinking about what I want, what I really really want. Something about which I can be RESOLUTE. This is my WHY. Mel Robbins has a great way to describe your WHY: Goals are meant to be achieved. Dreams are out in the future, a vision, a problem you would love to solve, the impact you want to make, the fulfillment you deserve. Your dream is a beacon that is pulling you forward and your goals are the path you take to get to where you want to be.

Your beacon? That’s your WHY.

My beacon? I think it’s really about my body this year. I’m 61, and in good health, I’m on no prescriptions, have no major complaints. But… I have a few long term dreams of going on some spectacular hikes and treks. I have three grandchildren that I want to keep up with, at least, ya know, for the first half hour. I’ve got active kids that I like hanging out with. And, I just don’t want to be the least in shape person in my very active family. So, it's all about my body this year.

When I read this line from Practice of the, it spoke to me: “It’s not a grand gesture or quick change that rewires our brains, instead it’s daily choices. We might call them micro-goals. A micro-goal is a realistic step toward a great goal that reinforces the brain change and creates more successful outcomes.”

I’m looking at what kind of habits people have that enable them to have the life I want. I’m spending some time on the internet this week checking in with senior hikers and their habits. Then I’m going to break them down and try on one per month. The ones that I can maintain and that work for me, I’ll keep. Theoretically, I could have 12 new habits at the end of the year, but I imagine I’ll have at least six.

It might look like this:

January - alcohol and treats on the weekends only; no sugar in my coffee

February - meal planning, and once a week shopping (I used to do this, but have fallen out of the habit!)

March - subscribe to AthleanX on Youtube or any of these workouts, and do 10 minutes of exercise every other day.

April - Eliminate gluten

May - Once a week hike

June - TBD - based on further research

So, you get the idea. Instead of trying to completely overhaul yourself, try on new things in bite sized bits. You can do the same thing with self care - Take on flossing one month. Start a journal the next. The next month make a plan to be in nature once a week. The next take 60 seconds to stop and just breathe at the top of every hour. See what works for you.

Here’s another dose of Mel Robbins that speaks to me: That’s what it takes to get what you want. Not big scary leaps once a year. It takes small, but irritating moves every single day.

That sounds a lot like a habit.

The new year gives me a chance to take stock of my life and perhaps embrace a new approach. I’m looking forward to the new year, but in a new way. Admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.

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