Has the high energy you had New Year’s Day dwindled? Have plans to Change Your Life gone from a full boil to a low simmer? It’s time for a resolution reset.
I realize that for the past couple of tough years I’ve advised against making ambitious resolutions. But every January I find it almost impossible not to have “back of my mind” half-acknowledged goals for habit changes I’d like to make. I always find that after a couple of months I need to take stock and adjust my expectations, whether they were written down and posted on the refrigerator or only cryptically alluded to in a journal.
Here are some ways you might reset yourself for success with some of your goals:
Tidy something. If you need to gain perspective, try clearing a small mess that’s been bothering you. Moving some stagnant stuff around can signal to your unconscious self that you are creating a fresh start.
Remove temptation. If you want to avoid certain foods, get them all out of the house and recommit to your diet. Delete the apps and streaming services that seem to continually distract you.
If you want to stay away from someone’s toxic energy online, you don’t have to completely block them from your social media, but you can mute their posts and try not having their shares in your feed. Delete that bad boyfriend’s contact information from your phone altogether.
Aziz Ansari abandoned his smart phone and transitioned to a flip phone to “get [his] mind back.” You may not be ready to join Team Flip, but it sounded pretty sweet to me for a minute.
Get cold. I love to dip into my unheated pool to shock my system into feeling a reset. Experiment with a cold rinse at the end of a shower, ice baths, cryotherapy or sleeping with the heat off and the bedroom window cracked.
Get plenty of sleep. Being overtired is another drain on motivation and can derail the best of intentions. For example, if your goal is to spend quality time with your kids after work, being tired can make you irritable or want to just zone out in front of the TV. A nap can be a great reset in day that has spiraled out of control. Negotiate even just 15 quality minutes of rest after work and it might be enough to renew your energy.
Use proper gear and have it available. If your goal is to exercise, make sure you like your workout wear and have the right shoes to make it enjoyable. If your goal is to get organized on the weekend, make sure you have boxes and bags for trash and give-aways and at least a few basic containers to organize things into.
Have a healthy gap activity. A gap activity is something you can do instead of the bad habit you are trying to avoid. It should be something you can easily do, several times a day, if necessary. Short walks around the block are tried and true. Drinking a big glass of water is another oldie but goodie. Call a friend or family member or 12-Step sponsor. Put a mud mask on your face or give yourself a pedicure. Knit something, paint something. Juggle.
Weeding really works for me. I never run out of weeds this time of year (in the fall it is raking leaves). It’s something that needs to be done anyway and it keeps me off the couch and out of the refrigerator.
We seem to be past the cold of winter and the bummer that was the Omicron surge, so give yourself a break and a reset. Don’t worry if you completely blew it in February, you’re certainly not alone! Every day is a good day for a fresh start.