While cruising along the 91 today I was listening to a radio conversation regarding New Year’s resolutions. I started thinking: I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution. We’ll get to the why in a minute, but first I must ask: has anyone else never made a New Year’s resolution? I don’t mean you made one and broke it within hours, days, or weeks. I mean NEVER made one? I’m just curious.
Now, the WHY. I remember hearing about resolutions when I was a teen. I also remember people laughing about breaking them by March. I was confused. People make New Year’s resolutions for themselves knowing they’re going to fail? WHY? I don’t like to fail, I don’t know anyone who does, so why do we set ourselves up for failure and laugh about it? At some point, we thought the resolution was important and something we wanted to achieve, but after 2 or 3 months we don’t care anymore? Nope, I don’t believe it and I definitely don’t believe in failing!
I believe we need to change our mindset about New Year’s resolutions and make them realistically attainable!
- First and foremost, I personally think of a resolution as a New Year’s goal. A goal is something I’m actively working to achieve. A New Year’s resolution seems to have a negative connotation since most people break them.
- Next, we need to alter our perception of goal time. We often think of resolutions as spanning 1 year, 12 months, 365 days. There isn’t a rule on the lifespan of a resolution. It’s your resolution, you set the time frame, but set a definitive ending. I personally think it’s better to set an end date 3-4 months out. You’ll experience the thrill of achieving your goal and be more likely to create resolutions down-the-road.
- Finally, we must be willing to accept setbacks and not give up.
For example, though I’ve never conducted a scientific survey, I would say “getting in shape” is a very popular thought at 12:01 AM January 1st. If you’ve been moderate to very active preceding your fitness declaration, you’ll probably have minimal difficulty pulling on yoga pants and hitting a trail, treadmill, bike, or Pilates mat for the long-term in 2018. However, if your peak activity level has been racing around the grocery store to “beat the line,” you might struggle to maintain an exercise regimen long-term. Let’s change that thinking…
If you haven’t been working out at all, strive for 3 days of exercise each week until April. Doesn’t that seem more achievable than 6 or 7 days each week for the next year?
Maintaining positive thoughts and not quitting when you can’t squeeze in a workout is very important for your success.
Life happens: the kids are sick; you’re sick; or you’re exhausted from a project at the office. Give yourself a break. Instead of throwing your hands in the air and declaring another New Year’s resolution broken, suit up in your fav athletic gear over the weekend (or on Monday) and get back to the grind. Before long March will flip to April and you’ll find that you achieved the goal you set 4 months back. Be excited, be proud, and let all your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snap Chat friends know you kept your New Year’s resolution! Then, maybe, set another goal?
No, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do set goals. Over the next week, think about:
- What do you want to achieve in 2018? (eating better, reading more, meditating, making time for friends, etc)
- What is a realistic time frame to achieve your goal?
- Mentally accept that life is going to happen but that doesn’t mean you give up. Rest and reboot as soon as possible.