April 5th, 2020
Setting Boundaries vs. Resolutions: An Unconventional Way to View
New Year's Resolutions
Ambitious New Year's resolutions are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, succeeding in your set goals is the perfect way to show 2021 who's boss. On the other hand, if you don't meet those goals, your self-esteem will take a massive blow at the end of the year. Therefore, the key is to commit to a New Year’s resolution that challenges you and is also achievable.
For example, take a look at this New Year’s resolution:
I'm going to wake up at 5:30 am every day and run 3 miles. And I will stick to a 1200 calorie diet with eating only 10% carbs, 60% protein, 30% fat.
If you don’t work or have children or have a professional chef and housekeeper living in your home, this goal might be the right level of difficulty for you. Still, it's just not doable for the vast majority of us when combined with all of our other pressing responsibilities.
For me, cooking a healthy dinner for my family at least four times a week and going to my kid’s soccer games are non-negotiable, and the hours required for the above resolution would cut into those activities.
While it's essential to take care of the people you love, that's no reason to sacrifice your obligations to your health and happiness. Rather than setting yourself up for failure with a lofty resolution like the one above, try something simpler, like:
I’m going to take a 15-minute walk every morning and swap out unhealthy coffee creamers for Prymal.
This resolution leaves plenty of time for the things that matter most in life: family, work, chores, and most of all, quality time spent with loved ones. And by promising to devote just 15 minutes a day to your own well-being, you’re sending your brain the message that you are worth at least that much.
"While it's essential to take care of the people you love, that's no reason to sacrifice your obligations to your health and happiness."
Setting Realistic Goals
We just discussed how to set realistic resolutions to give your health the attention it deserves. Now, let’s get into the step-by-step process of putting your plan into action.
Step 1: Carve out time with your partner when each of you can be alone and uninterrupted for an hour or two. You’ll need a whole room all to yourself for total privacy and no distractions.
Step 2: When your private time begins, play some music that makes you feel happy or relaxed.
Step 3: Once you’re in the zone, grab your favorite pen and two sheets of paper. Divide the first page into two sections - one side for listing the positive parts of 2020 and one side for listing the negatives.
Step 4: Using what you wrote in Step 3 as a reference, answer the following questions on a new page:
- What was the hardest part of 2020 for me? Why?
- What am I most afraid of happening in 2021? Why?
- What do I want the most out of 2021? Why?
Step 5: After both you and your partner have completed this process, share what you wrote with each other, offering support and advice when appropriate. This will undoubtedly be an emotional conversation, and it might even result in some tears, but complete honesty is an essential ingredient for a thriving relationship.
By communicating openly and vulnerably with your partner, both of you demonstrate a desire to improve, not only for yourself but also for each other. Knowing that you have a trusted ally to help you navigate 2021 is just the source of motivation you need to set and keep resolutions that will allow you to spread your wings in the New Year.