Get Back on Track: Top 5 Ways to Handle Broken Resolutions

January 26, 2015

Having trouble keeping your New Year’s Resolutions? Don’t give up just yet. Develop a plan to get back on track with these 5 tips. 

how to avoid broken resolutions

Disclaimer: I am a paid consultant with Meta and was compensated for this post. Opinions are my own.

A month into the New Year and you’re already struggling to keep your New Year’s resolutions? You’re not alone. Changing deep-seeded habits is hard work. No one ever said it would be easy to eat more fruit, exercise 30 minutes a day, get up 15 minutes earlier every morning, log off email at 7 pm every night, or whatever else you may have committed to changing in 2015. It’s common to get down on yourself when you slip up or something gets in your way.

Take me for example: my 2015 health and wellness improvement (aka goal, resolution, etc) is to be punctual to yoga. Doesn’t seem like such a challenging task, but lo and behold I was late to my first yoga class of the New Year. I could have easily said to myself “forget it, you’ll never make it on time, why even bother trying?!” I could have given up altogether and continued being late, but if I did that, I’m the only person who would suffer the consequences. Instead, I reminded myself that I have many more chances to achieve this goal, and for the past two weeks I have done exactly that. Dirty dishes were in the sink, I didn’t clear my inbox, and I left crying children with a babysitter all in an effort to make it to yoga on time. And so I did. And it felt good!

One slip up – even two or three – doesn’t mean your goals need to be thrown to the wayside. Instead, use those broken resolutions as an opportunity to self-reflect and get back on track. Here are my top 5 tips to handle broken resolutions:

  1. Reevaluate your goals and make them SMART.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. By focusing on these characteristics, you will narrow down the desired outcome to a point of having actionable steps to achieve it. Ask yourself the following questions:

    • What do I want to accomplish and why? (Specific)
    • How will I measure my success? (Measurable)
    • How can my goal be accomplished? Is it in my capacity to reach this goal? (Attainable)
    • How realistic is this goal based on other constraints? Is the timing right for me to accomplish this goal? (Realistic)
    • What’s my target date to achieve this goal? What can I do today, 6 weeks from now, and 6 months from now? (Timely)
  1. Enlist support.

You may feel alone on the road to success, but you don’t have to be. Let friends and family members know about your resolutions and ways they can help you achieve them. Use your personal support group for motivation and to help you recharge when you’re having one of those days.

  1. Stop the negative self-talk.

Don’t allow judgments to clog up your brain space. Ate more than you wanted to at dinner? Instead of saying you were “bad,” reflect upon what was happening at that meal, who you were with, any emotions you may have been feeling that could have led to overeating. Then think through the tools you can use to prevent the same thing from happening again.

  1. Make space for mishaps.

One of the tenets of my nutrition philosophy is moderation, which can apply to all areas of a healthy lifestyle. No one can be perfect all the time, and not leaving room for mistakes to happen will only lead to disappointment and feelings of failure, which can turn into a never-ending cycle. Get rid of the lists of forbidden foods and the all-or-nothing attitude and instead give yourself permission to take a day off from the gym or indulge in a sweet treat one day a week.

  1. Walk before you run.

This old saying holds true for so many aspects of our lives, especially goal setting. In order to achieve something more complex, we first need to master the basic skills. This is what it means to take things one step at a time and make small changes to accomplish bigger things. In many respects this is what SMART goals are all about.

The small changes philosophy in tip #5 above is one I have always believed in, as I shared in my previous post about the new line of Meta products and the Meta Effect – the belief that one small change can lead to another, and in the end, to good things. The Meta team knows how hard it is to stick to resolutions and they want to help. Not only can their products like the Meta Health Bars and Metamucil promote digestive health and satisfy your hunger between meals, but they can help you get back on track if you have a broken resolution. Check out this great video from Meta all about those Broken Resolution Blues and head over to the Meta Wellness Facebook page to share your broken resolutions along with how you plan to start fresh in 2015!

How do you handle broken resolutions?

Do you give up or power through?

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  1. I am guilty of having a few stumbles this year. It seems like work gets really hectic and before you know it, you haven’t really dedicated any time to taking care of yourself for a few days! I usually power through and just got to bed early that night and make myself kick start the new day on a positive note! (Which usually means getting back to my usual morning workout!)

    1. I totally hear you – so much “stuff” gets in the way, but it’s great that you’re able to recharge and start the next day fresh!