Let’s talk about resolutions. They may be goals we tell ourselves we will work on starting Monday, next month, next quarter, or even next year. Oftentimes, they are related to health, diet, or exercise, and often, it is something that we could start now but choose not to.
Sometimes, we blame our surroundings, our jobs, our families, our busy lifestyles, but perhaps the only thing we should be doing is owning it ourselves. Our minds are sometimes our worst enemy. They want to keep us fed, warm, comfy, and relaxed which means pushing through and doing what is hard, but what will actually serve you is difficult. It’s difficult because we subconsciously tell ourselves that we should stop, we should relax, and that we will do the hard stuff later. Isn’t that why we always say “I’ll start Monday,” but when Monday comes and you’re too tired to hit the gym and you’re craving fast food rather than a home-cooked meal, you tell yourself, “I’ll start next Monday”. Then a year passes and you’re upset because rather than hitting your goals, you’re in the same spot. The hard truth is that it’s not anyone’s fault but our own. I’m not saying let’s push ourselves at full capacity 24/7, but what I am saying is to conquer that temptation and have a healthy balance; know when to push yourself, know when to do the hard stuff, and know when to take a break. This is you not being the victim, externalizing blame, and instead of being the victor by owning your sovereignty. This is your responsibility and you are capable of change. Believe in yourself. The time is…NOW.
Everyone starts talking about their New Year’s Resolutions in December, but why not just START in December? Or better yet, why not START in the summer and make January 1st a deadline rather than the starting line?
Did you know most people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions less than a month in? Many give themselves a lengthy list of resolutions that contain major life changes, to start all at once and it’s often too broad. Instead of just saying “I’m going to eat healthier,” list the steps and processes you are going to take. Eating healthier can be a goal but how are you going to do it? Are you going to throw out everything that’s considered junk in your cabinets or is it going to be a gradual process? Are you going to cut certain problem foods out one at a time or cut everything cold turkey? Are you going to track your macros or eat intuitively? Are you going to follow a particular diet or just cut some problem foods out? There is a breakdown like this with most New Year’s Resolutions, including the simple ones like “Read more”. When are you going to read? How are you going to measure your progress? Do you have a lineup of books or will you decide as you go? Are you strictly reading books or articles and studies as well? Do you see what I mean?
I also want to encourage you to ignore what’s popular. Instead of following a trend that doesn’t always work out for everyone, find what works for you. If you go into this knowing what your end goal is and allowing yourself the flexibility to experiment along the way, I guarantee you will see a lot more success than in previous ventures. Start with one or two goals and really break them down, then experiment. Take advantage of the SMART Goals process. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. When creating your goals, they need to be specific and not too broad. For example, a goal of “getting healthier” is too broad and can easily break down into different categories creating multiple goals. Make sure this goal is something that can be easily tracked or measured. A goal of “get healthier” isn’t easy to track but a goal of drinking 8 glasses of water a day is easily measurable. Next, make sure your goal is actually achievable. If you set a goal such as “lose 50lbs” but you only give yourself a couple of weeks to achieve it, it’s not possible. Also, make sure your goal is relevant to your life, values, and is benefitting your long-term goals. Lastly, each goal needs a realistic deadline. This deadline will vary based on what each specific goal is, and that is determined by you. More simple goals such as “read 10 pages a day” can have a deadline of 1, 2, 3 plus weeks, or even months but a goal of losing 50lbs needs a deadline much longer than a couple of weeks. Below are some other factors to consider and self-reflection questions to better help you prioritize your goals.
1) What is your goal?
2) How am I going to measure my progress?
3) What does this look like for my daily life? (When, where, how)
4) How will I get back on track if I fall off?
5) What are different ways I can reach my goal?
6) What will this goal do to better my mental and physical health?
Whatever your typical resolutions may have been previously, let those go. Instead, choose one. Set a plan! Start now! Don’t let small
setbacks change your course! Put yourself first! If you need a bit of inspiration, check out my story about my experiences with depression
and suicidal thoughts and how I set goals and experimented to help find my way out of the black hole I was in.
Now get started! I believe in you!