When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. -Patanjali
It’s the beginning of a new year, which means new resolutions and goals. One study conducted by Strava, a social network for athletes, found that most people give up on their resolutions by January 12th. A mere 12 days?! What is happening here? Of course, people have the best of the intentions when they make their resolutions, but they aren’t able to keep them for a multitude of reasons. Maybe their expectations were too high, or they didn’t really want them as much as they imagined initially. In fact, a very small percentage of us actually keep our resolutions–only 8%, according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
One way we can combat this inability to follow through on our resolutions is to break them down into a series of small steps. Research has shown that when you attempt a big challenge, it can seem overwhelming. However, when you break it down into a series of small steps, that challenge is more achievable. These small steps are known as bridge challenges because they bridge the gap between what you see as possible and impossible. For instance, one of my resolutions is to be more active each day, whether it is going for a jog, walking around at lunch, hiking, or roller-skating. I am holding myself accountable by taking a picture of my feet while I am being active each day. (Sounds silly, but it works for me!) I will also reflect on my progress each week and make adjustments as necessary.
You can apply the same principles to your resolutions regarding your stepfamily life. Make a resolution, break it down into bridge challenges, hold yourself accountable for your resolutions, and reflect on your progress. The reflection piece is important, as one study discovered that people who reflect regularly are happier, more productive, and less burnt out than those who don’t. (For more ideas on how to start a practice of Intentional Reflection, read my article in Stepparent Magazine.)
So, what are your resolutions for this year? What kinds of changes do you want to make? In my work with stepmoms, I’ve discovered some common themes. Stepmoms often talk about:
–Strengthening the relationship with my partner
-Overcoming overload and regaining my energy
-Working on my overall happiness
-Learning how to handle criticism
-Getting more structure and discipline in our household
Whatever your resolutions may be for the upcoming year, write them down. According to researchers, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
Ready for a Challenge?
If you are ready for a change, join a 21-day challenge with Stepmom Bootcamp, a book that is designed to help you transform your stepmom life. By completing readings, daily challenges, and reflections, you will gain a better understanding of yourself as a stepmom. You will walk away with inner peace, greater clarity on your stepmom role, and a vision for your life in the future. Get started today!