09 Feb 2016

The beginning of the year is marked by familiar things: overcrowded gyms, shopping carts filled with fresh veggies, and good intentions. We start each New Year with well-meaning resolutions that we hope will come to pass.

But let’s get real (because this is a no-judgement zone) – we’re probably already back on the couch, binge-eating cheetos, dusted with shame and orange powder with our best friend, Netflix.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all do it (right?). But this year let’s do more than hope that we can make our resolutions stick. If we're more strategic about our approach, we can turn our resolutions into a reality!

Here are some tips I’m using to help me to stay on track with my own resolutions:

1/ BE DELIBERATE
Don’t make the same old promise to yourself that you make every year without first considering if it’s what you really want. Consider the motivation behind why you want to lose weight or take learn Spanish or run a marathon. Be mindful and self-aware. Is this really going to satisfy you?

2/ GET REAL
Ambition is great but if you set the bar too high, you’re more likely to throw in the towel early. For example, if your resolution was make 100k in the next year and you just graduated, that’s not the most realistic goal. Manage your expectations because otherwise you’re likely to get frustrated or intimidated and quit before you make much progress.

3/ HAVE A PLAN
If you’re all over the place with how you’re going to approach your goals, that’s how your results will be, inconsistent. Define what success means to you. If you’re resolution is to lead a healthier lifestyle, what does that mean? Does that mean losing weight or routinely working out or eating smaller portions? Work backwards from your ultimate goal to figure out what steps you’ll need to take daily/weekly/monthly.

4/ TAKE LITTLE STEPS
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I am no stranger to impatience especially in this culture of instant gratification. Anything worth having is going to take time (Remember: Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day!) and effort so don’t get frustrated if you don’t see progress in leaps and bounds right away. Just focus of putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll eventually get to where you want to be.

5/ WRITE IT DOWN
Not only will it help you to remember your resolutions by having a notebook to refer to but it solidifies it in your mind as something you’ve committed to. It’ll keep you on track with where you’re going and provide perspective the further along you get towards achieving your goals. It can act as a huge source of inspiration that’s written in your own words!

6/ BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Some days you will take a step forward and other days you will feel like you’ve taken two steps back and that’s ok. Falling just means that we’re trying and to regret failure is to regret having tried. Forgive yourself. Try your best and know that you always have tomorrow to kick ass!

ETC is the overflow of thoughts in the mind of Teri Yeung. It’s a place full of stories of travel adventures, imparted lessons learned from life’s achievements and failures, behind-the-scenes of projects and experiments, and anything else that inspires excitement and joy.

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