We are one month into 2018. Were you able to jump start January with new fitness, new mindfulness and new nutrition? Or are you in the 90 percent of most people that have let their resolutions slide?
Don’t “should” on yourself. The negative circle of “I should be doing…,” “I should be eating…” “I should be spending my time…” will only drive you further from your goals. Research shows that resolutions are absolute statements that pretty much sets us up for immediate failure which will knock us off track.
Let’s take some time to reframe this whole resolution thing – first and foremost making choices to work on a better you doesn’t need to happen January first. Reflection and planning can happen any day of the year and a plan of action can start when its ready – the January rush is clearing out of the gym so maybe about now is the best time for you.
Take the big ideas that roll around in your head and in your heart. Don’t edge away from your dream. Take the big ideas and break it down to manageable pieces that will form the foundation of your goals.
Do it for yourself
Resolutions need to be fueled by your desire to make yourself better. Success will come with sincere motivation that is sourced by you. If you are making any changes to your life because your friends are, your coach said so, or worse your were deeply hurt by an off-handed comment, results will likely be missed. Find goals that are important to you and that will be as motivating to you on day 50 and day 360 as they are on day one.
It is hard to reach a goal if you have not decided what it is. You will either miss it completely or you will forget to pat yourself on the back when you do. Deciding you will tackle the Vancouver Triathlon in September is attainable. Deciding you will compete in a triathlon in the future doesn’t give you a chance to build a plan to achieve it. The first step to any success is making a decision. Next – voice that goal. Write it down, tell a loved one. Send it out in the world and make a plan to start moving forward.
An Olympian didn’t decide that morning to go for a wee run and head out the door to a gold medal. There was a first step – a first 5K, a first 10K. There were weeks and weeks and months before the first half marathon. Make a plan with small steps that you will celebrate. Mark them well – treat yourself to a new pair of running socks, a massage or celebratory beer with your training partner each time you complete a step. Take pride in the small successes to keep momentum moving toward the end goal.
Aim for a lifestyle change. These changes don’t happen overnight. Yes, you can drop five pounds in a week but once you start hydrating again and shake of the hunger fog with proper nutrition you are back up to your starting weight. Transitioning to clean eating and smaller portions will see that same five pounds disappear in a month.
Expecting instant wins will bring about instant failure and bring back the cycle of negative thoughts and lack of motivation.
Focus on the flexible
Hitting the gym Monday-Friday at 6 a.m. asks for a tick in the failure column the first time you get hit with a cold or the first time you simply hit the snooze button. Aiming for one hour in the gym, three days a week is a tangible goal with flexibility for long term success.