It’s that time of year when many people start thinking about resolutions or changes to make going into the new year. And while a lot of people may make New Year’s resolutions, oftentimes, they don’t stick for long.
Life coach and renowned author Tiffany Cepeda has some easy and helpful tips on how you can make changes to your life and mindset without making long lists of unattainable resolutions.
New Year, New You! It’s Time To Make Some Simple Changes For 2024!
Cepeda, a life coach and author, had some tips to share to help anyone who wants to make some changes and do it in a way that doesn’t feel like hard work. Her tips are meant to help people succeed rather than just make a list of things they want to change and then give up when things get tough.
Cepeda’s first tip is to make a list of anti-goals instead of making a list of goals.
“Anti-goals are really about focusing on a different aspect of you. I feel like that’s something that’s really important. I feel like, usually, people focus on all these New Year’s resolutions and then we end up feeling either defeated halfway through and only a few months in we change our mind, or we become demotivated, life happens and so I think focusing and embracing more on aspects that can really help you be a well-rounded person as a whole are super important,” she told The Blast exclusively.
“Focusing on eliminating toxic relationships or some negative habits and things you want to actively eliminate from your life, hence anti-goal, can be the new goal. These types of things can help you create new routines, things that help you to be more intentional in your day or in your year, or in your job or in your family, or in things you’d like to be accomplished.”
By making a “mindset shift” and identifying and working against the typical New Year’s resolutions, you’re allowing yourself to create more space for positive change.
“It frees up your mind from guilt and shame or feeling like a failure,” she said. “Instead, you’re actually seeing the results of a healthier lifestyle and a healthier interaction with others.”
Adopting A “10-Minute Rule” Can Also Help You Succeed In The New Year
Another tip Cepeda has is adopting something she calls the “10-minute rule.” This is one that she said can apply to every area of your life – parenthood, career, or even just basic tasks around the house.
“The 10-minute rule is really about breaking everything into small tasks or into these new habits that feel a lot more manageable than looking at the whole big picture. Sometimes we’re told to look at the big picture, which can be good in the sense of the overall perspective of something, but I’ve found it helps people become stuck because they’re thinking what’s next,” she said.
“The ultimate goal of the 10-minute rule is to minimize stress, to minimize overwhelm, and to allow individuals to feel accomplished.”
By encouraging people to just commit to 10-minute intervals of tasks, it becomes easier to focus on that task and cross it off your list.
Choosing A Theme Of The Year Vs. Typical Resolutions
Cepeda also suggested having a theme for the new year. Having an overall theme can really help guide you to make decisions that will help keep you aligned with the changes you are seeking.
“Life as a whole happens. A lot of times, life comes at you, it doesn’t ask questions and doesn’t make sure that you’re prepared or you’re ready. We have curveballs coming at us all the time,” she told The Blast. “If you can focus on an overall theme for your year, it allows you to focus on every season you are in throughout the whole year.”
Pick a theme you want to align with for the entire year, and this can help you to decide what you ultimately want to say yes to and what you want to say no to moving forward. Align your values with this whole vision.
One example Cepeda gave was being more intentional. When going into a task, ask yourself if it aligns with being more intentional and focused on the overall goal or not. If the answer is no, maybe it’s not for this year.
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For people who want to make positive changes but don’t know where to start, an easy place to kick the year off is with random acts of learning. It allows you a freedom to jump into something you want for the year. Dedicate 10 minutes of time into your week when you can learn something new or do something you’ve always wanted to do. That can align with the theme you picked for the year.
“When you can really have more of that self-discovery, then all of the other goals you may want to explore for the year, you’re providing a space,” she said. “I always say, random acts of learning, take 10 minutes out of your week to do something that maybe you haven’t done before that you wanted to try. It can be lots of different things. Self-discovery is key.”
2023 was a stressful year for so many people. Cepeda said there are some easy things you can do to increase mindfulness and reduce the feeling of stress.
“I have a couple of different things. One of the big things is focusing on our mental and emotional health. I feel like there’s been this trend in 2023 that people have been talking more about this which I’m very happy about,” she said. “I think if you can prioritize or set the stage for more of a balanced life or state of being, whether that’s in your relationships, job, or your everyday experience is important.”
Think back on the last year and remember what was so stressful about 2023, find what you want for 2024, and remember that being intentional is important. From there, you can begin setting and achieving new goals. Creating clarity in your mind and creating space is key for a more balanced outlook in the new year.
Sometimes it’s best to go week by week or even day by day. That helps rewire our brains and create clarity and peace.
“Create balance through boundaries. Setting boundaries is really crucial. Stress oftentimes comes because we don’t have clear boundaries,” Cepeda said. “Being specific about what type of balance you want in your life in the new year will help prevent burnout and exhaustion and it will really help you to have clarity on what you want to allocate your time and energy into this year versus what it was spent on in the previous year.”