Kickstart your New Year's Resolutions before January 1st

We’ve all been there. It’s January 1st and you realize that you don’t have a New Year’s Resolution yet. Through a quick Google search, you scramble together a few weight loss goals and some new lifestyle changes that seem attainable. 

But after about a week or so, you forget what half of your goals and if you’re honest with yourself, you know you haven’t stuck with them. It’s okay, you’re not alone.

But what if this year is different?

What if instead of creating a list of semi-attainable resolutions, you implement actual lifestyle changes? 

With a little bit of intentionality and preparedness, you can stick to your goals and make significant changes to your life in the new year.

All you need is a plan.

If you want to make a change that will last, you need to create a plan that will enable you to focus on just one small change at a time. 

It’s easy to create a long list of never-ending goals without focusing on the small steps that it will take for you to get there. 

A few years ago I found myself in this same situation. It was January 1st and I didn’t have any New Year’s Resolutions. I knew that I wanted to create a few changes in my life, but I didn’t know where to start. I created a long list of goals that I wanted to start immediately: journal every morning, drink hot lemon water every day (gotta boost that digestive health!), read for 30 minutes in the morning, run a half-marathon… just to name a few. 

Now don’t get me wrong, these are all great resolutions! However, the issue was that my current routine was a far cry from any of these new changes. Also, I didn’t start with just one new change, I tried to start with all of them at once. 

But this year I’m trying something different. 

I’m starting NOW. 

I’ve decided to reduce the amount of waste, specifically plastic, that I create. As I’ve started to implement changes, I’ve realized that this is not something I can change overnight. Plastic is so prevalent in our daily consumption and use of products, that it is hard to rid our lives of plastic in one day.

If I had this same goal a few years ago, I would have started on January 1st creating my own shampoo, deodorant, and would have rid the house of any plastic. But now I am realizing that it is smarter for me to make small changes in my life right now. Today, even. So for now, I am practicing bringing a reusable cup and utensils to cut down on single-use drink cups and plastic utensils. Next I want to use my own home cleaning spray. Eventually I might be zero waste, but for now I am starting with small changes. 

Here are some tips to get you started before January 1st: 

  1. Become Aware. Take note of your habits and routines that you would like to change. Do you go on social media more than you’d like to? Do you drink 8 cups of coffee and one cup of water? Whatever it is, become aware of the things you want to change in the new year. 

  2. Write them down. Write down the habit(s) you want to change. There is something so powerful about putting something on paper and sticking it somewhere that you can see. 

  3. Create Actionable Steps. What small steps can you take to get to your ultimate goal? Remember to think small! When that small step becomes a habit, you will be more motivated to create larger changes to ultimately reach your goal. 

  4. Start Today! It doesn’t have to be January 1st to create the life you want to be living! Start today and kickstart the New Year in the right direction! 

You can do this! No matter the habit or change you are seeking, remember that you have the power to change the course. By taking small steps now, you can create the life you want to be living. 

Elyssa Schultheiss