New Year’s resolutions are easy to make and difficult to keep. But Joan Nosal, who owns TRI Life Coaching, says the key is focusing on the emotion of why we are going to do something rather what we are going to do. “A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something,” she says, “but our motivations come from our emotions, not our thoughts.” Here are a few tips on how to tap into your emotions and keep your resolutions, once and for all.
What do you recommend for someone who has resolved to have better work/life balance?
A. “Find activities outside of work to occupy your time that you enjoy. I enjoy getting up and working out in the morning. That’s what sets my tone for the day. Whatever the activity may be, find something that can remove you and take your mind off your professional life.” — Michael W. Bowen, an associate in Calfee’s government relations and legislation and litigation practice groups
What’s the best way to involve the entire family in a resolution, such as keeping the house clean?
A. “If you list [the tasks] without tapping into the emotional part, it creates a police state. You could say, ‘We’re going to have a 5 p.m. cleanup [because] it’s important to walk into the house and not trip over toys.’ Or, on a Saturday morning, you could say, ‘Let’s clean the house before 10 a.m. to allow us to go and do what we want.’ ” — Joan Nosal, owner of TRI Life Coaching
For people who resolve to eat better, are big steps (no sugar or flour) more realistic than little ones (smaller portions)?
A. “Build up habits that are small and manageable. Maybe start with one meal per day and make changes there. Or have a target: Maybe 300 carbs a day will be your limit. Reduce that number weekly by making different choices. If you try to go all at once, you’ll realize what a big deal it is and self-sabotage.” — Brian Doyle, chef and co-owner of Cafe Avalaun
If a goal is to get more exercise, is there value in having a workout buddy, or is it better to go it alone?
A. “A workout buddy is an amazing tool. It’s an accountability thing. The likelihood is someone isn’t going to want to go. So having someone who is as into it as you, who is kind and encouraging and enthusiastic, is a great tool. Also, it’s a reminder to be kind to yourself when you can’t get [to your goal]. Kindness is key.” — Anjua Maximo, co-owner of GrooveRyde