How To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Last Beyond January 31st
By Erica Matluck, Tia Director of Wellbeing, ND, NP
January 1st: The One Day Wonder
When you scroll through Instagram the first week of January, you’ll see post after post about lofty intentions and resolutions for the new year. If your feed looked anything like mine, you might think your friends woke up on the first day of the year with superhuman powers to create anything and everything they want.
It sometimes feels like January 1st is the one day of the year that we truly know what we’re capable of — and that’s powerful. But why is that we choose to limit ourselves to only one day? By mid-January, talk of what people plan to create, call in and change stops completely and we forget about our superhuman ability to create our dreams.
Having helped thousands of patients in my practice meet their health and lifestyle goals, I’ve seen firsthand how patience, persistence — and above all else, community support — are the key ingredients to success. So, does it really make sense to choose one day of the year to set big intentions without taking the time to create the ongoing support necessary for success and longevity? The truth is that January 1st is the same as any other day of the year, and big change requires more support than a few hundred likes on Instagram.
It is estimated that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February. Those of us in the northern hemisphere get the added benefit of experiencing our failures in the cold, dark dead of winter — not the greatest conditions to inspire us to be our best selves. As an expert in lifestyle medicine, it is not surprising to me that 80% of these resolutions do not last. Making big changes is challenging and requires a lot of support.
So what can you do to be in the 20% that make it through February and beyond?
#1: Choose goals that are truly aligned with your values, passions and purpose.
So many of my patients create goals that will help them fit the societal image of success. I often hear resolutions focused on weight loss, financial gains, professional promotions, or dietary and lifestyle changes that support a culturally imposed definition of health. When I ask why these things are truly important, I’m met with a blank stare that says “um, because they are?” After decades of being influenced by family expectations, cultural norms and social conditioning about the definition of a successful life, we can easily forget what’s personally important to us . So, before you set your New Year’s intentions, think about your authentic values, passions and purpose, and choose goals that are aligned with that.
#2: Create changes that you are intrinsically motivated to pursue.
You cannot change because someone else wants you to. You can only change for yourself. Change should feel good! It should not involve some torturous activity that you force yourself to do. Making big changes in your life requires a kind, loving attitude. You also cannot change because you think you are broken or damaged. It’s when you love yourself as you are, and choose to change because you want to do even better for yourself, you will succeed.
#3: Community support is EVERYTHING.
It takes a village — seriously. I do a lot of work with patients individually, but I also work with groups. When it comes to change, having a supportive community is the greatest tailwind there is. It will show you those superhuman powers you have that fuel sustainable changes and transform your life. Your job is to identify the people in your life who can support you and tell them exactly what you need from them to be successful. Maybe you need an accountability partner, a recommendation for a new doctor, or maybe someone to share a healthy, alcohol-free meal with once a week. Be specific and ask your community for what you need. If you don’t have a community that can do that for you then it’s time to re-evaluate who you spend your time with. And if a relationship detox is on the 2019 agenda, you can tap into to your community at Tia!
Community at Tia
At Tia, we believe that health and community are eternally bound. We designed our care model based on the feedback from women all over the country with shared experiences, complaints, concerns and frustrations. Community experiences are a core part of what we offer, where we will learn together, grow together, and support each other to successfully create the changes that matter to each and every one of us.
Be part of the growing community of women working to co-create a new model of women’s healthcare from the ground up — and support one another and themselves in achieving an enlightened definition of female health on their own terms. Learn more at www.asktia.com
The Tia Clinic is a modern gynecology and wellness practice designed to help women thrive. Become a Founding Member of the NYC Tia Clinic.