The new year can bring with it a lot of “perfection pressure” as people discuss resolutions and the many ways they plan to transform their lives in the coming 12 months. But resolutions shouldn’t be about perfection or pressure. Your new resolutions, whatever they may be, should simply be about helping you make progress toward the person you want to be.
Let’s look at a few ways to implement realistic — not perfectionistic — resolutions as you head into 2023.
Set SMART Goals
Simply put, realistic resolutions are the ones you’re likely to keep. Or, put another way, they are well-chosen goals.
So, how should you choose? In the 1980s, the acronym SMART was coined to stand for key elements of effective goals. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
For now, let’s focus on the “A,” achievable. While it may be tempting to adopt flashy and big resolutions, especially if you see others around you doing so, that may not be setting yourself up for success. When a goal feels out of reach or isn’t at least broken down into more achievable milestones, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up.
Instead, set modest resolutions — like losing 10 pounds, walking for 30 minutes three days a week, eating out no more than one meal a week, etc. — that will help you make progress toward what you ultimately want for yourself.
Another benefit? Like a positive snowball effect, your successes with achievable goals may help you gain confidence and momentum to keep going with more and even bigger goals.
In his best-selling book Atomic Habits, James Clear suggests using a “2-Minute Rule” for any new habit: begin with only two minutes of the activity or habit you want to create. Make it extremely easy to get started, and start small.
If you want to create a daily exercise routine, for example, and you’re currently not exercising at all, start with just two minutes of walking. If your goal is to read for 30 minutes each night before bed, start with just one page. Once the two-minute habit feels easy, you can start gradually increasing the time.
Remember the “S” of SMART? Not only should you make the goal itself specific, but it’s helpful to plan specifically how you’ll achieve it. Write down the steps you need to take and perhaps even put them on your calendar.
If your goal is to eat more whole foods, for example, you may need to schedule a meal-planning time each week, and maybe another time when you do bulk meal prep. After all, it’s very easy to reach for packaged and processed food when there’s no clear plan for a meal and you’re already hungry or pressed for time.
Be Kind to Yourself
One resolution that can also help you go easier on yourself if you’re struggling with other goals — and which is simply a great life practice — could be to speak more kindly to yourself. You deserve kindness, just like everybody else.
Need ideas on how to do this? Check out these 25 affirmations to boost your body confidence as a starting point.
And remember, resolutions shouldn’t be about perfection. Instead, aim for and celebrate progress toward being who YOU want to be this upcoming year, regardless of other people’s resolutions or who they want you to be.
Come See Us!
At The Lucas Center, we offer a variety of procedures and services that may help meet your unique, personal goals. If you’ve resolved to love your body more or improve your appearance, we’d love to discuss how we can help you achieve those things. We care about your needs and overall health and want to help you have authentic, lasting confidence.