Ah, ’twas the season to be jolly closely followed by the evening for resolutions to be made — and then promptly broken. This is a shame because making resolutions, at New Years or any other time, is just another way of saying there are changes you want to make in your life. Its about setting a direction that you wish to travel in….. and that’s something to be proud of.
So why do our New Years resolutions get binned faster than used Christmas wrapping paper? Much research has been done on the subject and according to the experts, it’s not that our goals aren’t worthy; it’s that we’re tackling them the hard way.
What’s stopping you from being the best you can be? Whether it’s your health, your weight, your job or something else entirely you want to improve, here are my tips to help you make those resolutions stick, interspersed with my plan for 2015 and a few words of wisdom I have picked up along the way.
Don’t put it off anymore. What are you waiting for? The beginning of the week? The month? The next full moon?
Right now is the best time to start your plans. If New Years Eve has passed already…just set a goal and get started today, right now. It’s awfully tempting to put off pursuing your goal until you’re better prepared or totally sure you can hit the mark, but that ideal moment may never come.
If you want it, its up to you, and nobody else, to make it happen. DO YOU WANT IT???
“Today is the first page of a 365 page book – write a great one”
Keep it real
Wanting to look hot in your jeans is a realistic goal. Attaining Rod Stewarts’s undying devotion is probably not. Lovely dreams are one thing but beware of setting yourself up for disappointment. Winning goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time framed.
But dont make the mistake of creating a monster to beat yourself up with. Compare these…
I will go to the gym and do cardio for 30 minutes on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday and Sunday I will run 5km on the Beach, Thursday will be a 200 meter swim and I will walk for half an hour with my husband on a Saturday. Friday will be my rest day….and I will lose 10kg by Easter.
I aim to be fitter and more flexible in 2015. I will exercise by a variety of methods for at leat 30 minutes four times a week to improve my general health. This could include Cardio, Walking, Swimming, Yoga, Dancing or any other exercise either by myself, or with others. I have already started this in 2014 and will continue to do so in 2015….
“Practice does not make perfect…but it does produce getting better”.
Write it down
Write down your resolutions. Make a plan. By putting your goals down on paper, you transform them from vague thoughts into a strong start. Include WHY you are going to do this. What is your reason for wanting to make this change. How will it improve your life, how will this feel?
“The thing to understand is often the only thing that keeps a competitor going is their heart, so if your heart isn’t in something, you’ll eventually give-up.”
Once you’ve got your goals down, put them up somewhere, on a wall, in your calendar, your computer screensaver, anywhere they will keep you inspired. Add a picture….
Be brave, share your goals with friends, family or even the world.
Go easy on yourself
Accept there will be days when you deviate from the plan. Try not to beat yourself up when you go off track. Think about what went wrong and either find a way to beat it next time, or modify the plan. Just keep moving towards your ultimate goal.
“A winner never quits…and a quitter never wins”
Don’t lose perspective; this about improving your life. But if it makes you miserable…then where is the improvement.
I like food, I like eating and trying new foods. Setting myself a restrictive diet that excludes many foods or limits my choices is too punitive for me. Yes, I am carrying a little bit of excessive weight and I know it is not good for me therfore I must do something.
…. It would be great to get and stay under 75kg. I will explore a range of healthier eating options that will make up the majority of my food intake. I know that this includes more fresh fruit and vegetables with less processed foods, alcohol, sugar and fat. I also know that I am pretty good already with what I am eating, so I might need to do a bit more work on portion sizes. BUT – I WILL NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT ENJOYING FOOD.
“Smile and the world smiles with you, kick and you kick alone”
Be nice…to yourself and those around you. Dont force others to join you in your quests. Have fun and be successful in your mission and others may seek to join you. Remember that those around you may have their own goals. Support them and encourage them …. but dont sacrifice your mission to enable theirs.
Speak nicely to yourself in the same supportive and encouraging manner that you use with others. You are most worthy of being your own best cheer-leader.
I will do this for me, I want to be fitter and more flexible so I can enjoy being active with my grandchildren.
“We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile”.
I want to enjoy life, appreciate what I have and be happier in all that I do. Therefore…if it does not make me happy, I will aim to avoid it – whatever “it” is.
Focus of the end goal and celebrate your milestones along the way.
I know going for my dream will be rewarding
– despite the ups and downs.
I’m gonna celebrate the effort I put in,
even when I screw up or when things go different than expected.
I’m gonna recommit, even when I feel knocked off track
by other people’s disapproval or harsh comments.
The screw-ups are proof
that I’m putting myself out there and doing my thing.
The disapproval and harsh comments
are just an indication that they’ve got a different view
on what it means to live a good life.
No more, no less.