So January just flew by! Most of us have tried to forget that list of lofty goals we wrote out on January 1. You know, back when we still had a Champagne buzz and thought this was our year and everything was possible and nothing could stop us and--hey, what’s that shiny thing? Well, February is the new January for goals! It’s time to grab that crumpled piece of tear-stained paper from the bottom of the recycling bin and dust it off because the magic sauce missing from your recipe for success this year is right under your nose. Or, more accurately, right in your lap licking your nose as you try to read this.
Here are five ways to plug your pup into your resolutions and make you more likely to keep them:
Include your dog in a new routine. Your dog loves routines like Kanye loves Kanye. If your goal is to exercise, set a regular time and include your dog. She’ll help you remember on days you want to forget, plus you’ll be improving both of your health! (And you’ll have a perfect excuse for skipping that spendy, annoying spin class your friend keeps insisting you join.)
Invite your dog as a wingman. If your goal is to broaden your social circle and/or find your soulmate, start in dog-friendly places and let your pooch distract from your nervous high-pitched laugh. For one thing, you’ll be more relaxed around your dog, and you’ll instantly have something in common with the dog-owners you meet.
Use your pet as a distraction from temptation. If your weakness is shopping for shoes every evening, set up strategic diversions like setting a chew toy or leash on top of your laptop. Spending some playtime with your dog will ignite the same happy chemicals in your brain that a new pair of espadrilles will and cost a lot less. Seriously, studies show that playing with your dog “increases in β-endorphin (beta-endorphin), oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings” (Where are you going to wear espadrilles in January, anyway?)
When you lack motivation, do it for the dog. Think about it--you are your dog’s entire world. It’s possible she loves you more than your own mother. She depends on you for everything. If you’re having trouble some days summoning the oomph to eat better, exercise, or make that medical appointment you’ve been putting off, do it as a gift to your dog. Because not to get all Deepak Chopra here, but the best thing you can give your dog is a happier, healthier you.
Reward regularly. You use treats to reward all the positive behaviors you want to reinforce in your dog, so start doing the same for yourself. Make a list of easy rewards you can give yourself when you stick to your plan, whether it’s a steamy chai latte, an hour of uninterrupted reading, or a full-volume one-person dance party in the kitchen. Whatever floats your fancy or tickles your boat--just make like Pavlov and start associating reward with sacrifice.
Drop us a line and let us know how your resolutions are going! And if you need a pup exercise partner, Pancho has already volunteered in exchange for some squirrel chasing!
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.