Use Microresolutions to Make Real Changes


New Year's Resolution microresolutionsIt’s the time of year when things shift from love, joy, and peace to a Christmas hangover.

The world will start telling you to be better, thinner, clean your house, organize your stuff, and do ALL THE THINGS with New Year’s Resolutions to make 2019 your best year ever.

Watch your Pinterest feed. You’ll see the shift in content.

You might scramble to climb that resolution mountain, jumping on the bandwagon of the latest magic tea that will make your thighs the size of toothpicks and your hair longer than Rapunzel’s. Your closet might look like the Container Store and you’ve set a goal to become extremely good at macramé because it’s cool now.

By the end of January? You’re exhausted. The tea is horrible, your hair is falling out, the closet is a mess, and the macramé looks like a kite string that got knotted up in the wind. The resolutions failed.

So don’t do it.

Make microresolutions instead.

I am not saying you should totally abandon your life goals. Just don’t cave to the pressure of unrealistic things that promise quick fixes to improve your life.

You wouldn’t expect your 10-year-old to master calc in a week, so don’t do that to yourself. Focus on what you really want to change in your life; set a realistic plan; and go for it.

This spring, I read (most of) a book on the concept of microresolutions called ‘Small Move, Big Change: Using Mircoresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently.’

Have you ever “rage cleaned” your house? Yeah, me too. Why can’t everyone just KEEP THE HOUSE CLEAN?!

Because the goal is too broad, we all have different definitions of clean and there was no plan in place to keep the house clean. Master one small change at a time and it will lead to bigger, more sustainable changes in your life.

Start with making everyone put away their coats and backpacks right when they walk in the door. Once that’s mastered, move on to mastering another small change. Those small changes become habit and lead to the overall goal of a cleaner house.

One of my biggest triumphs in making small changes was taking my daily vitamin. That’s not a sexy goal, but it made a difference in my life. I have low iron and if I don’t take a vitamin consistently, I can feel the effects. I’ve tried taking vitamins in the morning and at work. I failed with both of those methods.

The book taught me to pair that activity with something I was already doing. I set our coffee pot every night because I love waking up to fresh coffee. I take my vitamin when I do that. That extremely small change in my life meant I don’t forget anymore and I feel better.

Image of blonde woman drinking coffee out of a white mug with kids fighting on the couch in the background
Coffee and vitamin? Check! Kids WWE fighting in the background? Also, check.

If I said I was cutting out sweets, I’d last a day and then binge eat my way through the cookie aisle at Hy-Vee. Instead, I focus on small changes with actual results. By focusing on that, I cut way back on Diet Coke, have a less-cluttered counter, and committed to doing something that helps me mentally and physically once a week (spinning at CampusCycle).

These aren’t massive, all or nothing New Year’s resolutions that are Insta-worthy. They’re things that have helped me make changes and sustain those changes. Do yourself a favor this year and make small changes that will improve your life and last past Jan. 31.

What’s one small thing you can change right now? Great! Now go for it.

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