Did you know January 17th was “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day”?

This unofficial holiday is observed halfway through the first month of the new year. It’s the point where frustration overrides that “New Year, New Me” excitement. Yes, it’s a bit of a joke, but plenty of sources mention it. Don’t believe me? Ask Google. I promise the articles will make you laugh.

The problem with resolutions is our unrealistic expectations.

How often have you sworn off sweets only to say, “I’ll start over on Monday, “because you couldn’t resist that chocolate chip cookie? And then you eat another three (or ten) because you already slipped up? Perfection isn’t realistic, yet many women expect it from themselves.

So, how can we set ourselves up for success?

I interviewed Michelle McKown-Campbell, Confidence Coach & Speaker at Activate the Awesome, for some insights. She’s one of the most uplifting women I’ve met in Lake Norman and has a gift for empowering others.

Michelle’s positivity (and smile) is contagious in all the best ways. 

Use the 80-20 rule.

Brainstorm ten things that would make you happier. Then, narrow that list down to the top two. Focus on those two goals instead of trying to change everything at once. I recommended this approach during my nutrition counseling days, too. Choose healthy options 80% of the time. Enjoy whatever you’re craving the other 20%. It’s all about moderation.

Know Your WHY.

Why do you want to exercise, eat healthier, or [insert your goal here]? Connect with the feeling of the result as if it’s already done. Visualize it. Focus on the emotions. When you see it and feel it, you can achieve it.

Choose one thing.

Small changes add up over time. Decide on one thing that will bring you closer to your goal every morning. Put it at the top of your to-do list. Try to complete it at the beginning of your day. Life gets busy, people need things from you, and it’s easy to get distracted. If you make it through the rest of your list, that’s a bonus. But finish your one thing first.

Gather proof of what you DO.

You accomplish a lot every day and don’t even notice. Write down everything you do on colorful Post-it notes or scraps of paper, even the tiny, ordinary things that aren’t on your list. Walking the dog, making dinner, folding laundry, drinking an extra glass of water, choosing fruit instead of a candy bar — you get the idea. Add them to a clear jar and watch the stack grow. Look at it daily as a visual reminder that you’re making progress and doing your best.

What a fun idea! Michelle keeps her jar in her home office.

Celebrate your accomplishments every day.

You deserve to celebrate yourself, whether you accomplished one task or twenty! And sometimes you need to “be” instead of constantly “doing.” Rest is healthy, so spending the day in pajamas watching Netflix, napping, or reading is an accomplishment, too.

Ditch unrealistic expectations because you’re already awesome!

Remember that you’re already worthy and enough exactly as you are right now, no matter what you’re working on this year. Every person has a tapestry of awesome within and unlimited potential; they just have to accept and believe it.

Graphic courtesy of Joyful Rising Writing & Marketing
Photos courtesy of Activate the Awesome
By Danielle Ratliff, Creative Marketing Professional

Danielle Ratliff is your go-to guru for stress-free marketing solutions. As the creative mind behind Joyful Rising Writing & Marketing, she specializes in crafting compelling brand messaging, user-friendly websites, and digital campaigns for overwhelmed small business owners. Danielle was an empowering wellness guide during her earlier chapters as a Registered Dietitian, owner of Serenity Now Massage Therapy, and holistic health radio show host. Beyond the small business realm, she enjoys exploring nature and creating joyful memories with her wife, bonus son, and furkids. Connect with her on LinkedIn or reach out at danielle@joyfulrising.com.

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