Happy New Year! There's something psychologically freeing about saying goodbye to the former year and welcoming in the next one. It's a fresh chance to shape our lived lives to be more in line with our dreamed lives. As we celebrate this new beginning, it's a good time to make changes, just as Nature does: little by little.
Why New Year's Resolutions Fail
Many people make New Year's resolutions, but unfortunately, few of us manage to keep them. One of the reasons is that we tend to take on too much at once. We get inspired by the marvelously clean slate that the new year offers, and charge ahead full force. But deciding you're going to make radical changes in your diet, double the amount of time you exercise, and increase your productivity at work all starting January 1 is a recipe for failure.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Life coach Kara Loewentheil explains that the tendency to make overambitious resolutions stems from perfectionism. We want to be the best version of ourselves we can imagine and we want it right now. But when we bite off more than we can chew, we inevitably choke. And then we give up. Failing hits our unworthiness button and confirms to us that we really can't change. So we settle back into our previous unhealthy habits until the next year rolls around.
How to Break the Cycle & Make Your Life Changes Stick
The way to break the cycle is to make the stakes lower. Remember: Your self-worth does not depend on what you eat, how long or hard you work out, or your job title. You are worthy just as you are. Once you've untethered your self-esteem from your resolutions, you're ready to begin.
The key is to start small. Pick what Loewentheil calls the minimum baseline. That's a change you want to make that you're sure you can stick to. If you're sedentary, maybe you'll commit to taking a fifteen-minute walk every weekday. That may seem boring even anti-climactic. But you'll be moving more than you would have if you had resolved to work out for an hour every day and then quit before February.
Even better, you will begin to silence the voice that says you never follow through. You will start to trust yourself again. And that will make it easier to tackle another small resolution. Maybe the walk is a half-hour a day now, or maybe you keep it as-is and decide to eat a vegetable at every meal. The key is not to make any new changes until the existing one is solidly established. Give yourself at least three months of executing the current habit before adding a new one. And remember, you are not a bad person if you stumble. You are simply human.
The Path to Good Feelings
Making small changes to your life, including being kind to yourself, can make a big difference in your happiness. To further enhance those positive spirits, consider adding Gaia Herbs Emotional Balance™ to your daily regimen. This award-winning formula contains a carefully selected blend of herbs including St. John's Wort, Organic Oats, Organic Passionflower, and Organic Vervain that helps let the light in, supporting your journey to wellness.* Emotional Balance™ combines herbs traditionally used to:
- Help your body cope with daily stress*
- Support mental and emotional well-being*
- Nourish your nervous system*
- Calm your mind*
- Support a more balanced mood*
- Foster a better outlook on life*
May you enjoy the quiet and stillness of winter, while you make small, steady, positive changes to bring about the life you dream of!