A Message for the New Year’s Resolution Haters

A new year for many of us means New Year’s Resolutions. But since we rang in 2015, I’ve taken notice to a lot of resolution bashing going on in the media.

Although the statistics show most people do not keep the goals they set for the year, I still think there is value in setting intentions for yourself — if they are done right.

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is they often aren’t specific enough.

Lose Weight

Quit Smoking.

Be Happier.

Be a Better [Mom, Wife, Student, etc]

What these goals lack are the “How” and the “Why.” When you set an intention for the New Year, or for anything, you have to be specific.

Take the common goal of losing weight for example —

How will you lose weight? Will you start a diet? Commit to a workout routine? Get a gym membership? How much weight will you lose, and by when?

And just as important is the “Why.” Why do you want to lose weight?  Are you overweight? Are you at risk for diabetes? Do you have a big event coming up?

Understanding why you chose your goal and writing it down will help keep you motivated.

Another problem is when resolutions are too large.

Break your intentions out into smaller, more attainable steps so you have some minor wins to celebrate on the way to achieving your major goal. This will keep you motivated and help you track your progress.

Here is an example of some steps for a weight loss resolution:

Resolution: Lose 10 pounds by June

Why: Look good in a bikini

1. Join the gym

2. Work out 3 times a week for 3 months

3. Sign up for Weight Watchers

4. Create a book of easy, healthy recipes to make at home

5. Lose 5 pounds by March

Halfway to your goal (in this case, March) re-evaluate your goal, track your progress and set new steps.

If Weight Watchers wasn’t successful, try something different. Maybe you want to explore food journaling or a Paleo Diet… the key is not to give up if one step doesn’t work for you.

The reason many New Year’s Resolutions “fail” is because people give up after one try. If you don’t get to the gym three times one week, it’s not the end of the world! Setting smaller goals allows you to separate a tiny loss from the failure of your entire goal.

The key to New Year’s Resolutions is to remember — you haven’t failed until you allow yourself to give up.

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