In January everyone seems to have an idea of how they want their new year to look. For those of us suffering from an autoimmune disease, taking back your health will almost always be on your New Year’s resolution list.
The reality is we’ve all made New Year’s resolutions that we’ve quickly broken. When you slip back into your usual routine after that fresh “new year” feeling, it’s hard to stick to the commitments we’ve made for ourselves.
If you want 2020 to be the year that you take back your health, you need a strategy to hold yourself accountable.
- Write It Down On Paper
It has been proven in studies that the process of writing down—by hand—your goals, aims or resolutions will make you more likely to achieve them. Indeed, a study by the Dominican University in California concluded that you were 42% more likely to achieve written down goals.
- Make It Fun
Add some spirit to your 2020 goals. You probably know that goals should be specific and time-bound, yet goals are a joy to achieve when you are playful at attaining them! Reward yourself with prizes at significant goalposts. Make goals inspiring and fun to accomplish. Review your goals often, checking in that you still want to achieve this goal. Enjoy the journey and success!
- Make New Week’s, Not New Year’s, Resolutions
Making New Year’s resolutions can seem appealing, but to commit to something year-long is a huge undertaking. And the disappointment of not meeting it can weigh heavy since it implies that you’ve failed majorly. A better approach is to make commitments weekly. This might include renewing commitments from previous weeks. Not meeting a weekly commitment will amount to a “blip” of a setback.
- Skip Resolutions And Make Declarations
Traditional resolutions tend to fall apart before January ends. Instead, make three life-changing declarations for 2020. For example, “I will remove processed food from my diet,” “I will meditate 3 – 4 times a week,” or “I will exercise 3 times a week .” The themes matter little as long as they fit your appetite for learning, growth and adventure. Declare them clearly!
- Create A Vision Board
One of the best ways to really crystallize your New Year’s resolutions is to create a vision board. Start by collecting images and words that represent what you’d like to achieve and how you’d like to feel. Put these together into a collage. Then sit back and truly connect to the vision you have for yourself. Put your vision board somewhere where you can see it every day. Then make it happen!
- Prepare Yourself For Change
It is clear that the No. 1 reason resolutions don’t stick is that people don’t do the work to prepare themselves for the change. Lasting change doesn’t happen until your mind is ready, which includes seeing more pros to change than cons. This takes mental work. Lasting change doesn’t happen when you just make yourself do something different.
- Make Your Goals Incremental
Many know to make a goal S.M.A.R.T. Go one step further and make it incremental. It’s helpful to have smaller milestones to spur regular action, limit procrastination and measure progress. Rather than “strictly follow the Autoimmune Protocol eating plan for 12 months,” define the goal as, “gently phase in the food eliminations by eliminating one food group every month.”
- Pay Attention To Your Limiting Thinking
Focusing on your goals is an important part of meeting your goals. The second and much less common part is focusing on competing commitments or limiting beliefs. We consciously commit to our resolutions like taking back our health, and at the same time we are unconsciously believing that our disease is genetic and there is not much we can do about it. This competing commitment or belief can derail our ability to accomplish our resolutions.
- Evaluate Your Habits
Resolutions rarely work because we have a tendency to focus on the big goal itself, like recovering from autoimmunity, and neglect to focus on the actions you must take to reach that goal. Whenever you embark on a new goal or vision, you must first evaluate which habits you need to change or acquire to achieve success. Regardless of what you want to achieve, if you don’t focus on what it takes to get there, you never will.
- Create A Team Of Accountability Partners
Spend time with like-minded people who understand your journey. Join a Facebook group or look at investing in a health coach or program. Share your goals with family and friends. Having accountability is crucial in smashing your goals. It would be so easy to lose motivation or revert back to your old habits if no one was watching.
- Set Goals That Align With Your Everyday Life
Resolutions are nice to have, but they are often not accomplished because we are too busy with other things. A good way to ensure you get them done is to turn them into written goals that are exclusively yours and in harmony with your everyday life. Additionally, ensure these goals are specific and written in a positive tone. Make them so that you can measure and attain them.
- Map It Out And Take Action
You wouldn’t have been given the dream if you didn’t have the power to move into it today. Sit down, map it out, find resources and take action. You can always perfect the plan as you go.
- Focus On Micro-Changes
Resolutions are mostly a waste of time. They are too big, too ambitious and require too much energy. Avoid feeling like a failure and embrace incremental improvement instead. What micro-change can you make this month? When you master that, tackle something else. Small changes add up to big wins. Make changes in alignment with your priorities and goals for long-term fulfilment.
- Measure And Share Your Progress
We manage what we measure. Translate your New Year’s resolutions into specific behaviours and action steps and write those down as a checklist. Then measure your progress every day by marking a simple “yes” or “no” next to each item on the list. At the end of the week, review your progress and share it with a close partner. It is difficult to lie to ourselves when we see our progress on paper.
- Aim To Be Better Than You Were Yesterday
Be better than you were yesterday. Our lives are always evolving, and we encounter obstacles that we have to overcome. The goal is not to be perfect or to achieve something spectacular. Hence progress and improvement can only be measured in context. Being better in one area than you were yesterday is not only simple to understand but easy to achieve.
Now, go and take back your health! You can do this!