We resolve—often publicly—our intent to be a better person, lose weight, quit smoking, and remake ourselves into the perfect saint we were meant to be. After a night of New Year’s debauchery, we are feeling SO brand new and ready to meet the challenges of the New Year—for real this time!
The gym fills up. Weight loss commercials fill the airways. And we’re all on the road to our best selves—for a few weeks anyway.
The dedication lasts anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months, but most often life gets in the way and our resolve falls to the wayside. Why is this? Is it because we don’t really want what we say we want?
Sure, there are a few superhuman types who love to brag about checking things off their annual bucket list. Many of them preach a self-righteous gospel that accuses others of being lazy or not wanting it bad enough. While I think there may be some truth to that sentiment, I don’t think people intentionally set out to fail when they make their resolutions. Yet somehow there is a real disconnect between their intentions and their reality.
Perfection is overrated!
But this is not going to be you! Not THIS YEAR! This will be a year full of win instead of sin—at least the ones you want to do without!
I’m not finished yet!
Often when we make resolutions, we don’t look at the logistics for meeting our goals. Details, schmetails—we are doing this shiz—that’s all we know! In fact we’re not really looking at them as goals at all, we’re looking at them as absolutes.
But absolutes don’t work for most people—because life is not a yes or no proposition.
Right next to each item on your resolution list, make a note about how you are going to stick to your plan when life comes knocking. And when life comes knocking and your plan hits the skids, don’t give up! Revise your plan and keep going!
If you’re going to quit eating crap—great! But don’t forget to make a plan for how you will handle social gatherings and bad days at work. Overhauling your finances? Awesome. But don’t forget to set yourself a budget for birthdays and holidays. Have a plan for extra money that comes your way and a plan for when your car breaks too!
HERE’S MY SPECIAL SECRET: YOU CAN MAKE THIS UP AS YOU GO ALONG!
Let’s face it; remaking your life in a single day is pretty unrealistic. If you’re a complete couch potato, I can just about guarantee you will fail within a few months of starting a program that requires you to hit the gym every day after work unless you radically change your entire life. You could instead start with a plan that requires gym time two to three days a week and something active on the weekend. If that seems like too much or too little—change it.
What you don’t want to do is give up when life intervenes—and it will intervene.
Even though we all know it’s better to do something rather than nothing, we often give up because it just feels like we’re not making ‘good’ progress. If you want fast results, chances are good you’ll have to give up something else in your life to get them.
Sometimes a big push is a great thing—hammering out a novel draft for NaNoWriMo or losing weight for your wedding in a few months are great motivators, but truly changing our habits requires a longer term strategy. Don’t be afraid to change things up to meet your goals. There truly are many multiple ways to reach your destination!
Personally, I stopped making New Years Resolutions because I am constantly working toward my goals. That means I experience a lot of trial and error, wins and sins. My progress might look like a sailboat moving against the wind, but it doesn’t mean I’m not making progress. When I need to meet a short-term deadline I set aside other things to meet that goal. But for everything else—it’s one day at a time. Using my zigzag technique I lost twelve pounds last year—without ‘dieting’—and while undergoing some physical therapy that made my normal exercise routine impossible. I simply did things differently, but I still did something! Now that I’m regaining strength, I’m getting closer to my old routine without that terrible having to start all over again feeling. And most importantly without feeling like a failure!
Here’s to an awesome, productive New Year where you get to be yourself—somebody awesome!
Happy New Year everyone. Thanks so much for your support over the last year. Every like, follow & click means a lot to me!