I used to hate New Year Resolutions. They never seemed fun or achievable to me. Lose 10 pounds, go running each morning, stop drinking wine, organize all my family photos in albums. I never put much thought into them and therefore I usually wasn’t motivated or successful achieving them. However, a few years I figured out that the New Years resolutions I was picking were too big, not well defined, and were not things I was very excited to embark on. I realized they were always about highlighting what I didn’t like about myself or what I had to change to be a better person.
The first year I nailed my New Years Resolution was the year I committed to waking up and immediately showering and doing my hair and make up every morning. I committed to doing this daily regardless of what I had on the agenda and even if I was just headed to the gym to sweat! I would simply get up and take a shower every morning. I know that sounds obvious to some people, but as a gym owner and mom, there were so many mornings I would jump out of bed and put on my workout clothes and rush my kids to school with the intention of going to the gym right after and then coming home and working. Unfortunately, there were so many days I would drop off my kids and get caught up in some other task that took up my whole afternoon. I would inevitably never make it to the gym to work out and then proceeded about my day looking frumpy and disheveled until I finally worked out and took a shower before bed.
When I started waking up and taking a shower, something just clicked for me. I had to get up a little earlier than usual to take a shower and get dressed (even if into gym clothes) and do my hair and makeup. This process is quick for me, and once I started doing it I wondered why I fought it so much on many mornings! I always felt clean, fresh, ready for the day. That feeling made people treat me differently…. even my kids! This rubbed off on my husband who works from home and often started the day in sweats. Now that my husband and I were up early ready for the day I always made my bed and did a quick load of laundry before making my coffee. This whole process took no more than 25 minutes tops!!
This change in our morning routine gave my husband and I a chance to have coffee together and talk, or read the paper while getting lunches ready. I realized how little we had time like that together with our busy schedules. Instead of rushing out the door my kids made it to school on time and I felt more organized and peaceful about my day for the first time in a LONG time. I made it to the gym, I felt better about myself and prepared for anything that came my way. I even enjoyed an overall more organized home. This one small resolution of taking a shower each morning was the catalyst for getting so much more done in the day! Had I picked a new years resolution that was bigger or more complicated I likely wouldn’t have achieved anything at all.
Today when I think about my New Years Resolutions I try to think about the SMALLEST change I can make in a day that could have the most profound effect on my life. A daily task so small I can’t say NO to it. Things like taking my vitamins before bed, drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, calling a family member or friend on my way to work, shutting my phone off at 9 pm, or listening to a guided meditation while walking the dog. I challenge you to think of SMALL actionable tasks that have a cascade effect on other behaviors. The goal is simplicity and making sure the daily task is doable each and every day.
Happy New Year!