Making Meaningful Change in The New Year

Tired of resolutions that last less than a week?  Try setting a course for lasting results instead.

We have all been there.  January 1,  we are certain  we are going to change something in our life.  Maybe watch less TV, read more, eat less junk, exercise more?   It really doesn’t matter, by  January 31, we have forgotten our resolution.  Worse, perhaps,  we beat ourselves up for still being stuck in our old habits.    What if there was a new way?  A way in which we could make meaningful change yielding real results. Read below for how to accomplish that.

Reflect on what has challenged you in the past.  

What has gotten in the way when trying to implement this change.   It may seem counterintuitive to pause when you want momentum.  However, sometimes taking some time to really analyze your blocks can push you forward.  For example, say you want to exercise more but can never find the time.   Taking the time to look at how you spend your day may reveal blocks that could be spent exercising.   

a woman drinking on a ceramic mug while sitting on the couch.  She is thinking about why her past attempts to exercise regularly have failed.
Photo by Kevin Malik on Pexels.com

FInd your Why. 

How come this change is important to you? Continuing with exercise as our example, what do you hope to gain from exercising more? Better health, more energy, a slimmer waist?  There is no right or wrong here but you need to know what is driving you.  Honing in on your motivation will keep you going when you are, well, unmotivated. 

Be SMART about your plan. 

SMART is a time tested goal setting technique.  A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and has a time frame.  So instead of “I want to exercise more” think “I want to go for a 30 minute walk three times a week starting February 1st.    When deciding if a goal is realistic, you may want to aim low. You can always escalate it up but overshooting will just lead to discouragement and quitting.     

Reward yourself.  

When you were a kid in school, you would get a gold star for doing your work well.  Be your own cheerleader and plan treats for set milestones. They can be small or big, free or expensive.   For example, if you want to walk three times a week and do it for one month straight, you might reward yourself with a lazy Sunday movie day or with a massage.  Plan rewards for different time intervals throughout the entire year. 

This four step plan should get you going on your 2022 goals.  Most importantly, be kind to yourself.  Change is always hard. It is also a process, not a straight line.  Everyone falls off the proverbial wagon when making behavioral changes. Berating yourself will only make it harder.  Recognize all the hard work you have  put in and congratulate yourself.  Simply getting through the last two years is a victory.  Integrating self improvement makes you a hero!  

a woman doing squats while stretching her arms.  She was too depressed to exercise before working with the therapists and nurses at Nurtured Well, LLC in Towson, MD and online throughout the state.
Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

Are you too depressed or anxious to make lifestyle changes? We can help at Nurtured Well, LLC. We are passionate about helping women live their best, authentic lives. Our staff can provide the right evaluation, medication, and/or psychotherapy to get you well enough to start integrating other aspects of wellness into your life. Email today to get scheduled with one of our Nurse Practitioners or Therapists.

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