You made resolutions, now here’s how to keep them

So… they seemed like a good idea at the time, didn’t they?! This is the time of year when we fight with ourselves about our resolutions. We’ve lost the initial fervor from the holiday season, and the winter doldrums have set in. The battle to get ourselves to do what we resolved to do is painful.

Psychotherapist Dr. Erin Leonard shares a few tips on how to “Stick with New Year’s Resolutions!”

For example:

I should work out, but I’m exhausted. I’ve had a long day.

I shouldn’t eat a sub sandwich, but I’m starving, they deliver, and it’s cold.  

The battle wages in our heads and it is annoying and depressing, and so is the guilt that occurs when we fail to follow our resolution.

So, what helps?

Do not battle with yourself and do not engage in all or nothing thinking. It will zap your energy and joy.  Instead, take 4 deep breaths and come up with a compromise.

For Example: 

I won’t work out, but I’ll take the dog for a walk when I get home.

I’ll get a sub, but it will be on the healthy side and I’ll meet the delivery guy in the downstairs lobby, so I’ll do a few flights of stairs.

In both of these examples, the compromise is almost better. Getting some fresh air, plus pet therapy is invigorating,  and getting the heart pumping at lunchtime on the stairs is beneficial too.

Battling with ourselves is more exhausting than actually doing what we resolved to do, so don’t waste time or energy on it. Allow yourself to come up with a compromise. It is the quickest way to stop the battle in your head and live peacefully while upholding the basic commitment of your New Years Resolutions. (You’ve still got one foot on the wagon).

To learn more, visit www.drerinleonard.com.