THE FWSU STORY: Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions – Say Hello to Lifestyle Change in 2018

Want to be successful in keeping your resolutions this year? Then don’t make any!

quit making new year's resolutions

Instead, replace the January-New-Year’s-Resolutions ritual with a long-term plan for accomplishing your goal, which, for most of us is probably a lifestyle change.  Even if your goal is to buy a luxury car or the latest technology tool, it still might mean a lifestyle change to get that new car or technology.

long term goalsTo get started, make a list of what you want to do in 2018. 

Some examples might be:

  1. Achieve a healthy weight
  2. Stop buying daily double lattes
  3. Exercise before going to work
  4. Work only 40 hours a week
  5. Spend the entire weekend with family and friends

make a long term plan

Next, look at the list and make it manageable; you’ve got 365 days to work on a doable plan!

  1. Lose 3 pounds a month
  2. Save _____ each month (your double latte $)
  3. Spend 30 minutes a day doing an enjoyable physical activity
  4. Work more efficiently (Eat the Frog First)
  5. Balance weekend time among family, friends, and self-care

So, now that you have some items to address on your list, it’s time to prioritize them!  For example number 3, 2, 5, 1 (taken from above).

You’re ready to make a long-term plan!

  • Choose two or three priorities and develop a plan that includes a checklist to make parts of your plan visible so you can see your progress. For example, spend 30 minutes a day doing an enjoyable physical activity.
  • What NEED are you trying to fill? Are you doing it to become more fit, toned, balanced, relaxed, to de-stress?

Make a plan today

Calendar Map your Plan

Weeks 1 – 3:  Explore some gyms, workout classes, videos (check them out online), talk to friends and join them for a class. Maybe you don’t like classes or exercising with others, you could try an outdoor sport. DON’T OVERCOMMIT: This is not the time to sign up for a three-month or annual gym pass or exercise class membership until you know that is what you want to do.

Week 4 – 7:  Make your decision about what you like to do (make sure you enjoy it or want to try it for a month or so).

Remember that it takes at least 66 days to create a new habit. Be patient with yourself.

Week 8:  How do you like your decision?  Need to adjust it?  If so, do so.  Try something else.  Just don’t give up or use a vacation as an excuse not to do anything.

Week 9:  Is what you are doing meeting your need for doing it?  If not, why not?  Explore further, and don’t give up-modify and adjust!

create new habits

Pulling it all Together

  1. List what you hope to accomplish in 2018 and make sure it’s doable. You can always accomplish something small and then do the next step of an originally too big goal.
  2. Prioritize. Limit your goals to 2 or 3.
  3. Explore what is needed to get started (Can you live with reducing your double mocha lattes to 2x week to save $ for that new piece of technology or luxury car or expensive trip? If not, maybe start with cutting back by 1 a week).
  4. Reflect on your progress. Keep notes or a journal or write it electronically (there’s an app for that!).  Adjust.  Use a calendar and check off each day you meet your short-term goal.
  5. Can’t do it alone? No need to! Rely on a trustworthy friend who can offer both coaching and encouragement.

you can if you think you can

You can do it! I would love to have members of our FWSU learning community share their progress and am here to offer you support if you need it!


Bonnie Poe FWSU Wellness Coordinator

Bonnie Poe is the Prevention and Wellness Coordinator, PBIS Coach, and SBSAS Grant Coordinator for FWSU schools

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