So it’s officially February, the gym traffic has died down, and I’m finally writing “2014” on all my dates. How we doing on those New Year’s Resolutions?
Oh yeah, those.
I don’t really do the whole resolve-to-stop-doing whatever thing. I don’t like to restrict myself, I just encourage moderation. If I want queso, I eat queso. Just not every day. My dad kinda nailed it… he would resolve to have additive value endeavors instead of restrictions. Like one year he decided to learn how to play the piano. I remember the year he decided to learn spanish… we got told to “Vamonos” a lot.
So instead of committing to “Drop 5 Pounds” or “Stop eating cheesecake”, try something more sustainable. Like “Learn a new sport” or “Drink 2 liters of water a day”. Volunteer somewhere. Do something that you can learn from; do something that’s useful, healthy, and takes you out of your comfort zone.
Oh and make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
Let’s use the above list as an example.
- Lose weight – not specific, no time frame, not attainable with no action plan, and no AMOUNT of weight specified.
- Exercise – just exercise huh? No specific type of exercise? No amount of time?
- Drink more water – How much water? Not measurable or specific. More than what?
- Quit smoking – a wonderful endeavor, but unrealistic without a game plan for relapse, understanding the mental and physical side effects of withdrawal, and realizing one will have to replace a bad habit with a good one.
Try these instead:
- Lose 5% body fat – by exercising more (see #2) and changing diet (see#3)
- Exercise more – Walking 30 min 3x/week, Lifting weights 45 min 2x/week
- Drink 2-3 liters of water a day – Log water intake in a food tracker app (similar to My Fitness Pal), drink a glass of water with lemon in morning, and get a good reusable water bottle to carry around
- Quit smoking – by taking the money that would have been spent on cigarettes and put in “Vacation/Spa Trip/Other Desired Item” fund, having a plan to deal with cravings and potential relapses
- Go to bed by 10:30 PM – on weeknights, turn off electronics by 10 PM
I could keep going, but I think you get the point.
I think it’s good to revisit your goals every month (or if you’re super driven and motivated, once a week). Make sure you’re still working towards them, making small improvements, and add/remove/change goals as needed. It’s ok to fall off the wagon, just get back up, dust yourself off, and jump back on.
Failure is a necessary part of the process. What matters is how you let it affect you.
Cover photo by BazaarBizarreSF via Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bazbizsf/4010915224/in/photostream/)