The Solution to Your Resolutions
Zach Curry, CPT
Certified Personal Trainer/Exercise Specialist
January is a tough month for most of us in the Midwest. We are coming off the highs of the holidays, work is ramped up with projects for the new year, kids are back in school, and in addition to all that, we still need to find time for selfcare. For most of us, that comes in the form of a New Year’s resolution. Thankfully the month of January is over. By this time, you probably have your schedule at work and home back on track, there is only one more month of winter left, and you are darn glad that January is over. I am sure most of your life transitioned very well into February except for one thing, your New Year’s resolution.
There is something so compelling about setting a New Year’s resolution. The whole idea of a new start, a new year, a new “you” are extremely comforting to us. It’s a time where we get a little relief from the things we want to fix about ourselves because we know once that new year starts it is all going to change. And then February hits. There are bills to pay, kids to feed, work to be done and you are not seeing results as fast as you wanted, and you just don’t see how you have time or energy to complete your New Year’s resolution. According to Forbes.com only 8 % of people accomplish their resolutions.
The problem is not that it is too hard or that you don’t have enough time. Instead it’s because you haven’t taken the proper steps when setting your goal.
Here are a few tips to staying on track all year.
Now that a month has passed take an honest look at the goal you have set.
Is it becoming increasingly difficult to find time for it?
Do you feel like it is draining you of your energy?
If you are feeling this way it is a good time to look at your goal and reassess. You don’t have to completely change it, but maybe set up some smaller sub goals that you can reach first. For instance, if your goal is to cut down on sugar, instead of going cold turkey try to track how much added sugar you consume in a day. Then try to shoot for a slightly smaller number from week to week. Doing this will keep your goals from being overwhelming and will give you a sense of accomplishment as you move through each sub goal.
It’s a new day, not a new year
Setting a goal for all of 2018 is a lot to ask of someone, let alone yourself. Instead try to make your main goal a part of each day by setting those sub goals. If you don’t get to it, no worries. It is ok to be frustrated. What is most important is how you react to your frustration. An example would be If your goal is to eat healthier meals and you break and have a cheeseburger. Getting upset at yourself and then giving up all together and going back to how you have eaten in the past is a poor reaction. What you should do is take a breath, recognizing that you are frustrated and remind yourself that it is only a moment of frustration, it will pass.
Every morning brings the opportunity of a new day. Write down your small goal for the day and get to it.
They are your accomplishments
My final piece of advice is to remember that your accomplishments are for you. Your goals should be something you truly want to change, it must come from within. If you goal is to save money for your family be sure you remind yourself it is because you love them, and you want what is best for them because that in turn brings you happiness. Do your best to compare your accomplishments to your accomplishments only. It is very easy to fall down the rabbit whole of negative thinking when we compare ourselves to other people who we assume are ahead of us. It is important to remember they put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do. It is ok to be inspired by others but remember this is your journey, not theirs.
Try these steps the next time you feel like quitting on your goal. Accomplishing goals is about having balance. Being gritty, but also remembering to breathe and forgive yourself when you fall short. It is about doing something for “you” not for your boss, significant other, or your kids. Motivation is often at its greatest when it comes from within.
Good luck on your goals for 2018, keep your head up and get after it!