Regardless of what holidays you observe or celebrate, by the time January rolls around, you are coming out of one of the most indulgent, expensive, and busy times of the year. With a few extra inches on your waistline and few less dollars in your wallet, January can be a discouraging month—winter isn’t going anywhere, credit card bills are due, and the merriment is over for the season.
Many people turn to New Year’s resolutions to make room for healthy new habits and undo some of the damage from a decadent December. New Year’s resolutions are hard to follow through on even under the best circumstances—according to research conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals—but sticking to them on top of the controlled chaos and stress of a move? While it might seem impossible and you may be tempted to forego this tradition entirely, it can be done. Here’s how:
Make your resolution(s) relevant
When we relocate to a new home, it’s often because of other major changes in our lives, such as a new job, a relationship, a better school district, to be closer to family, or simply a fresh start. Sticking to a resolution often works best if it’s relevant to your life, so make sure it still makes sense with your new situation and, if possible, connect it to a habit you’re already consistently practicing. Review your intentions for making this resolution and see if you can answer the following questions:
- Does this resolution fit with the new life you’re making?
- Is it relevant to what you are trying to achieve?
Keep it simple and be realistic
This is good advice even if you aren’t moving, but it’s especially important when you are. Changing your habits and building entirely new ones is no easy task, and packing up your home and relocating your entire life adds another layer of difficulty on top of that, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself by making an impossible-to-keep resolution. Be realistic about what you can accomplish on top of moving and pick one resolution—something simple and achievable.
Ask yourself the following questions before signing off on your resolution:
- Is it something you can start in your current residence, and still do at your new home?
- What new equipment or materials will you need? Are they easy to pack or should you wait until you move to pick them up?
- Do you need to look for a new gym, club, hobby group, game cafe, etc? Is there one nearby that fits into your budget? Is it conveniently located and easily accessible via the transit you will have available to you?
- Are your expectations too high? Pushing yourself is important, but it’s better to set achievable goals and build on them upon completion.
For example, if your resolution is to improve your physical fitness:
- Don’t expect to accomplish as much throughout the moving process as you will at other points during the year, when things will be less chaotic and you will likely experience fewer setbacks.
- For the sake of progress and the feeling of forward momentum, try to do at least one activity each day, no matter how small.
|PRO TIP: If strength training is an important part of your fitness goals, you can get creative and do lifts with household items, such as cans of food or packed boxes. Just don’t forget about maintaining proper form to protect yourself against injuries.|
If your resolution is to save more money, you may feel that the best time to start is after the move. After all, moving expenses can add up. However, there are ways to set yourself up for saving success throughout the moving process—learn how to budget for your move.
Be specific and break it up into manageable pieces
Now that you’ve got a resolution in mind, don’t give yourself a large, vague goal. This can make the whole process daunting and difficult to start, not to mention overwhelming to follow through on.
Be very specific with what you want to achieve and what you intend to do in order to achieve it throughout the moving period, and beyond if you’re a planner. Give yourself measurable weekly targets, and make sure it is something you can incorporate into the packing, moving, and unpacking process. It will make following through easier.
For example, if your resolution is to improve your physical fitness:
- The temptation to pick up something easy like fast food when you’re moving can feel irresistible. Fight the urge by making a weekly meal plan and stocking up on a few easy-to-pack items that make quick meals—there are plenty of recipes online! And don’t feel badly if you need to treat yourself to a cheat day on moving day.
- Getting regular exercise when your equipment is packed up and you can’t get to your gym regularly is tough. Thankfully, there are lots of at-home workouts and routines available on YouTube that don’t involve equipment, so all you have to do is make the time. Schedule some time each day to accomplish part of your workout routine, even if it’s only a set of reps or a walk around the block.
Hold yourself accountable and track your progress
Holding yourself accountable can mean a variety of different things. Sharing your resolution with friends and family might be the thing that drives you to make the most progress, whereas some people find that keeping their resolution to themselves helps lower the pressure and keeps them on track.
There is no one method that will work for every single person, but writing down your goals has been shown to increase the likelihood that you will actually follow through and achieve them.
Whichever approach you decide to take, track your goals in a way that works for you, on or in something that you aren’t going to pack or misplace during the move:
- Bullet journal
- To-do list
- Planner or calendar (Need some extra incentive? Giving yourself stickers or checkmarks on the days you accomplish your goals may help you stay on track.)
- Vision board
- Personal diary
- Phone app
- Blog or social media account
If improved physical fitness is your resolution, you may find that weekly selfies will help you monitor your progress more closely and provide a greater sense of accomplishment.
Make the time
Making a resolution is about improving yourself or your life in a small but measurable way, and achieving or taking steps toward achieving something that is important to you or something you want to change in your life. It isn’t something you have to make time for, it’s something you get to make time for—a break from all the chaos of the move and a brief window to focus solely on yourself.
It may not seem important in the midst of packing up and relocating your whole life, but making and keeping a resolution provides you with the excuse—if you need it—to carve out time for yourself and stick to a schedule, something that can help lessen the stress of uprooting your life.
|PRO TIP: Your resolutions can actually help you cross two tasks off your moving to-do list—make friends in your new city or expand your social circle in your current one by joining a new gym, club, or group that can help you accomplish your New Year’s resolution.|
Be flexible and be kind to yourself
As you track and measure your progress, make sure you reward yourself for your successes and don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail to meet your targets or slip up from time to time. One or two missed days does not mean you’ve failed and should scrap the resolution entirely, especially not when you’re in the midst of a move. Simply try again the next day and continue making progress in whatever way you can, whether that means rescheduling your deadlines or softening and shifting your weekly targets. Accommodate the changes and challenges that are going to crop up and be kind to yourself—you’re doing great!
If you’ve decided you’re ready for the challenge of making and keeping New Year’s resolutions during your move, follow through by:
- Making sure it is relevant to your life and your new situation
- Keeping it simple
- Being specific and getting organized
- Tracking your progress
- Making time
- Celebrating your successes and forgiving yourself for any “failures”
And let us know how you do. Connect with us on social media: