So… in month three of 2012, how are your New Year’s Resolutions going? A little like my recent “hiatus” from the blogosphere? I get ya, I can sympathize….
I know folks who won’t even make resolutions anymore because they have lost all faith in them or in their own ability to complete them. Everyone can think of an ambitious resolution or two or three that didn’t work out. I know I’ve fallen on mine, and am doing some soul-searching on how to do better (thus this post).
There are a lot of reasons why your resolutions (and mine) don’t work out:
- RESOLUTIONS ARE AN ALL OR NOTHING PROPOSITION– most people treat resolutions as an all-or-nothing goal. Want to lose weight? Fine, no cookies. Ever. The instant you tell yourself that, all your mind will focus on is the cookies** you can’t have. The minute you have a cookie (because you will, trust me) you have become a complete failure in your mind’s eye. Resolution broken, never to be attempted again (until January 1st of next year, that is).
- Resolutions also aren’t realistic/require instant and drastic change. Ms. Cookie Monster (myself) will pledge to abstain from cookies with disastrous results (you read the story, right?).
- Resolutions often don’t have a PLAN– “I’m going to exercise everyday” doesn’t say anything about WHEN you are going to do it, WHAT you are going to do, etc. The resolution leaves everything “up in the air”, and without a concrete plan the “resolve-ees” (you and I) become frustrated and give up.
- Resolutions don’t have benchmarks for progress. To keep yourself encouraged, set benchmarks or short-term goals to mark your advancement. “By a certain date, I will have saved $300 toward my vacation” or “In two months, I will be able to jog 2.5 miles without walking” are short-term goals that acknowledge your progress. Once you have accomplished your benchmark, give yourself a pat on the back and set a new one.
I’m now at a point where, like you, I need to re-ignite some resolve into my resolutions. But how to reverse some of the pitfalls of making a weight-loss resolution into a plan that sticks?
- Make your goal SIMPLE– too complicated and it is not going to get done. Period.
- Make your goal realistic– “To thine own self be true”. If you are not really a gym rat and don’t desire to be one, get some home equipment to get it done. Make it as easy as possible to put your plan into action. Also, don’t change every thing a t
- Make your goals flexible– Build in a “cheat day” or a “cheat meal” as a reward, once you’ve become consistent (don’t derail yourself). Also, you can always modify a goal, just keep the
- Make your strategy obvious– add in the “how” to the goal. For “I’m going to work out on the treadmill three times a week, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and one day over the weekend in the afternoon”. The benchmark for your success is within the goal.
- DON’T make a big deal out of a slip up– “We Fall Down, but we get up”, remember?
Common motivational resources (used most often for work performance) use the acronym SMART, meaning goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. (Couldn’t find a consensus on who developed this concept, however, you can look it up here). I think this is a good template to use, but remember, no overthinking allowed.
Come on, y’all… We have 9 months left, let’s make them count! I am working on my fitness plan… look out for it in a future post!