New Year’s Resolutions:
Start as you plan to go on.
Is this your path for the new year?
Dusty . . . winding . . . uncertain???
Or, are you ready to build bridges that lead to new horizons?
Folks come in all shapes & sizes . . . so do New Year’s Resolutions.
I’ve read any number of blogs & posts over the past several weeks regarding personal New Year’s Resolutions. Lots of folks put their goals into cyber space – maybe as a way to make themselves accountable – but few follow-up at the end of the year as to what they’ve accomplished. Why? Good question.
Why do New Year’s resolutions fail?
- Not enough time
- Not enough money
- Not enough energy
- Not enough willpower
- A thousand other excuses . . .
Ultimately, a New Year’s resolution fails because it’s not the right one!
So how do YOU get to a resolution that is ‘achievable’?
Drill down. Find out what the true goal should be. How? What’s the big goal? Healthier? Happier? Financially secure? Romantically involved? Big goal . . . big picture. Sounds wonderful, but how is that achievable? It’s rather like looking at the whole sky instead of focusing on one particular cloud.
If you want to be healthier . . . what’s that look like? Be specific. Clothes fit better? Lose enough weight to hit one lower pants’ size? More stamina? Walk to the park, around the park, back home again – all without getting winded? This is the drilling down. Being healthy is a fabulous goal. Not a medical professional on the planet would argue with this goal. But without the specifics of exactly what your health goal looks like . . . you’re setting up for failure before you start.
Drilling down takes a little effort, a little patience, and thought on your part.
We can all want to be healthier, but that’s NOT a measurable goal. We could want to eat better to maintain health, which is moving in the right direction, but still without teeth to the resolution. We could give up junk food — ALL junk food. Now, I have your attention. But is removing ALL junk food from your diet reasonable? Attainable? Long-term sustainable. Sounds hard, doesn’t it? Maybe impossible. Unless you’re an individual already involved in healthy eating, giving up all junk food will NOT be a realistic goal for the year.
- Individuals with personal trainers
- Folks suffering a serious health risk
- People already involved in healthy eating lifestyles
The above list would cover — just about — most who could embrace the resolution to give up all junk food. But for the rest of us, whether it’s a late night or early morning run through a fast-food chain, a little added-sugar snack food in your grocery basket, or participating in the office coffee break, junk food will sneak into the diet.
Don’t set yourself up to fail on your New Year’s Resolutions.
It bears repeating . . . Start as you plan to go on!
Be honest with yourself! If you make the resolution to give up all JUNK FOOD . . . will you stick to it? For how long? No one’s listening to these answers but you. No one is accountable for the truth of the answer but you. So be honest. If giving up all junk food isn’t realistic based on your schedule, your willpower, your surrounding temptations . . . then HONE the resolution to one that you can live with, can succeed with, can accomplish. Take out (1) fast-food – or junk food – hit per week. Set that goal for the first two weeks of the year.
Think in advance. What’s the replacement for the junk food?
If it’s a breakfast addiction, then what can replace the fast food stop? Do you love oatmeal, but your mornings are frantic and any meal takes too long to prep? Good alternative: try the individual packets that heat in seconds. Better alternative: learn to cook ‘steel cut oats’ or ‘long-grain oats’, which are a much healthier alternative and can be prepped on the weekend, then stored for that quick morning bowl. I haven’t tried them, but there are a number of ‘breakfast-in-a-bowl’ solutions on the market. Add the egg, microwave according to directions, dig in. Sounds simple. Do read the labels as some of the pre-prepped items sport high sodium contents.
For a resolution to succeed, there MUST be an alternative to the behavior that is to change.
Simply saying that you’ll pass up the sixteen fast-food chain restaurants on the way to work and NOT stop, is setting yourself up for failure. Without a workable alternative, it is only a matter of time before temptation defeats the best meaning resolution.
But you’ve been smart . . . no, you’ve been brilliant, and formulated the alternative behavior and implemented it.
Then up the ante – remember, you’re riding the wave here – take out (2) fast food hits per week, making certain that the alternative meal is in place. Set the adjusted goal for the next two weeks and push forward.
Then keep the momentum going. Is there one sugary snack that you’d really like to take out of your diet? What carb-weakness in your weekly eating plan? Again, be honest with yourself. What (1) food or snack is your downfall? Don’t panic — this is your resolution — it doesn’t need to be eliminated from your palate forever. But if you stop at the custard stand once or twice a week . . . cut that in half. Remember, this is all about resolutions that you can embrace on a consistent basis. Set your new adjusted goal for the next two weeks and push forward.
What does personal goal success equal?
Joy? Health? Money in the wallet? These changes are lifestyle enhancements. Your life will be happier, healthier, more financially sound when you set realistic, measurable, and true-to-your-inner-self goals.
Know thyself is never more important than when setting personal lifestyle changes.
Be honest with what you want to achieve. Be realistic regarding the amount of time that you can levy toward a change. Be true to your inner self. Change is hard. Anyone who tells you differently, is selling something.
The most important truth is that you are worth every bit of effort and ounce of tenacity required to achieve lifestyle changes. New Year’s Resolutions may get you started toward the goal, but make the changes a permanent part of your life – one small, measurable step at a time – and success will be yours.