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women on couch at New Year's party / Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Anyone can make resolutions for the New Year. Here are some strategies for the New Decade

New decade resolutions can be bold. They can be aspirational…but they can also be intimidating. They can be small steps you take to answer the question “Who do I want to be in 10 years”? Or, they can be frightening. When you evaluate where you currently are, how will you get to be the person you always dreamed you could be?

Maybe you’re already there — living a life that is emotionally, romantically, physically, financially, and spiritually satisfying. And if that’s you…congratulations. However, most of us aren’t where we ever pictured ourselves. Whether it’s arbitrary age-related timelines or surprise curveballs in multiple careers, sometimes we’re so far away from our life goals that it’s difficult to know where to start.

Last year, we offered some strategies to help you stick to your resolutions. Starting small, focusing on a single challenge, being realistic, and tracking your progress are still the expert-recommended approaches to accomplishing lifestyle habits that don’t dissolve in February. This year, inspired by the new decade, let’s look at how you can practically set yourself up for success today to accomplish more in the next 10 years.

Stop talking, start doing.

Are you one of those people who is always telling your friends about how you want to start a podcast, write a book, learn to scuba dive, run a marathon, and take up an instrument…but you haven’t done anything about it? Well, this is the year where you need to take small steps to accomplish these things. Can you swap Sunday morning brunch for a quiet hour of writing, researching, running, or taking classes? Like everything in life, if it’s important enough, you will dedicate the time and energy to do it. If not, it’s time to let go and stop making empty promises.

Add, don’t remove.

So much of the trapping of diet culture is about deprivation. It’s about what you can’t eat. Once something is forbidden, we only want it more. If your goal for this decade is to be healthy, consider adding something to your daily routine. Whether it’s adding a walk around the block after dinner or a cup of bone broth every day, adding things into your life switches the focus. It reinforces how much we have and allows us to celebrate and be grateful.

Be reflective, not reactive.

We live in a culture that rewards instant gratification. We are expected to respond as soon as possible to emails, text messages, feeds, streams…and this can lead to emotional overload. We all need a time out to take a moment and compose ourselves before speaking or typing. Slowing down and being deliberate and thoughtful helps us to take a moment to evaluate how we really feel — keeping our emotions from ruling our lives.

Ask for help. You are not alone.

From coaches to therapists, there are people out there who understand what you’re going through. There are teachers who can provide you with new skills and trainers to help you perfect your form. These people exist to help you achieve greatness. They are there for you. Asking for help can be scary but it’s essential if you want to grow in this new decade. Not only will they help you meet your goals, but developing a relationship with a person who really understands you will help you grow in ways you never imagined.

These four approaches to resolutions are tough ones. They require you to really look at your life, evaluate your priorities, and make uncomfortable changes. It’s often easier to stay static than confront things that make us uneasy. However, if we start seriously considering who we want to be on the evening of 2029, we have to start somewhere. And we can do it together.

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