Friday, December 30, 2016

NEW YEAR, NEW blah blah blah blah

Failed New Year's Resolutions Aren't Bad, here's why...

Another new year is here and you promised yourself that you would not make any more resolutions. You have become sick and tired of the one you make EVERY YEAR.  You know the one.  The one about loosing weight/finances/etc..  You have read or heard about countless occasions of people never achieving their resolution goals.  I know, I read it too.  And while this is true, I still can not say that they are completely useless. 

Since I mentioned the weight loss one, I think that is the one I will expand upon.  Plus this is one of my passions if you don't already know, so I'm sticking with it 😄.   But you can scratch out weight loss/healthy lifestyle and put in anything you desire, like financial, spiritual, or whatever goal that is important to you.

"Five minutes into your first workout and you find out, to your dismay, that the real workout has NOT begun and you are panting and trying to keep up during the WARM UP.  You realize you may have bit off more than you can chew. "

It's the last week of December and you are planning those final parties/get togethers/etc. You know exactly what you want to eat.  You have almost planned it as if it were your last meal.  Because come Jan. 1 (really more like Jan. 2 since you might be in a food coma from all the food you consumed the day before) you are ready to begin.  You have your new sneakers or gym shoes.  You have a great new workout outfit.  You even splurged and bought compression pants this year.  And your outfit matches, I'm talking headband, socks and even your shoes.  

You will not be defeated.  You start out with a healthy breakfast.  It's been so long you had to look up what a healthy breakfast was, but you got it in.  You even have lunch and dinner already planned out for the next week or two. You have plenty of salad, chicken breast, and brown rice to feed an army. You have your trusty Fitbit (that you got for Christmas) and a new water bottle to boot.  There is no stopping you.  

You signed up for one of those 6 week boot camp classes and you are ready to go.  You were all smiles at first.  You even began to think to yourself, why haven't I been doing this all along?  And then it gets real.  Five minutes into your first workout and you find out, to your dismay, that the real workout has NOT begun and you are panting and trying to keep up during the WARM UP.  You realize you may have bit off more than you can chew.  

But you press on.  You take several breaks during the workout.  You drink all the water you brought and you have to refill from the closest water fountain.  You even take several potty breaks, just to have an excuse to breathe in peace.  You stand way in the back of class just in case you need to make a mad dash out of there.  And this is the one time you really wish you were invisible and you pray the instructor does not say anything to you.  

But you continue to press on.  You eat your healthy meals and at first you question why you don't eat this way all the time.  You exchange recipes. A few days/weeks go by and you have a routine.  You exclaim to all those around you about how great you feel.  You are even doing pretty good with the workouts.  You don't love them, but somehow you feel stronger and now believe you won't die anymore.  You even pant less, and take only a few  breaks during them.  You are in it for the long haul and THEN IT have to go out town, a friend invites you out to dinner, or you skipped a workout.  Whatever IT was it caused you to loose your focus, your motivation.  You realize you don't want any more dry chicken breasts!  

But you press on.  But now you show up late to your workouts, if at all and you begin panting again. You eat what you used to eat before, plus a little salad.  That counts right?  So now you are a couple of months in and you have went back to your old ways.  People are no longer talking about the new year or new beginnings etc.  Now they are saying things like, this year has flown by or where has the time gone, etc. You feel defeated.  And then you remind yourself about how resolutions never work and you promise yourself not to do this again.  You go back to life as it was... or do you?

I don't think you do.  Although you didn't accomplish your goal of let's say loosing X amount of pounds.  Was it a complete waste of time you ask?  Hmm.  Let's see, ask yourself the following questions and see if you have any answers.

  1. Did you learn something about yourself? Did you learn what your stumbling blocks were/are?  Were they different this time or the same?
  2. Did you do better this year then you did last year?  For instance, did you go until March this time?
  3. Did you learn more about your goal?  Did you learn more about health and nutrition, more than you knew last year when you took on this goal?
  4. Did you make new connections?  Did you meet new people with the same goal(s)?
  5. Did you learn about your support system? Who's in your corner? Who's there to support you when you have challenges?
  6. Did you expect too much of yourself?  Was your goal not specific enough?  Not measurable?
  7. Did you feel the positiveness in the air? Did you feel that excitement at the beginning of the year?  Didn't that feel great?  Was it inspirational? 
  8. Did you see that making a fresh start can be the thing you need to advance to the next level? Don't kids do this every year when they enter a new grade level?
  9. Did you learn about what's important to you?  Is this really the goal you should be setting or is there something else that needs your attention more?
  10. Did you give up early on?  That first workout was the hardest but you continued, why didn't you quit then?  Do you know that you are strong?

Do you see where I am going?  I hope so.  So although you didn't attain the specific goal you set out to achieve.  It was not worthless. Experience is a great teacher.  You have valuable information at your fingertips.  If you ask yourself questions like the ones above it will help you achieve more reachable goals.

We need goals no matter how great or small. Frankly they make life worth living. For instance, a goal of getting up the next day to watch your favorite TV show is small, but a goal nonetheless.  If you have absolutely no desire to do anything it gets hard to get out of the bed. (Please note I am NOT talking about depression or anything like that here, that is a very serious issue and I am not making light of it all.) 

So instead of saying I want to loose 50 lbs. Maybe set a goal of becoming more active.  A goal of 5000 steps every other day for instance. Something more achievable in the short term and measurable.  Once you begin to achieve one goal, then add other small, more achievable goals. These small goals are easier to digest. They leave room for error but they don't feel impossible to achieve. And when you begin having success at achieving these goals your desire to set more advanced goals will become stronger. 

Little things do add up!   A baby grows into an adult over time, it doesn't happen over night and yet it happens because of small changes.  So as the new year begins again, don't beat yourself up about all the things you haven't done.  

Just breathe, begin again and strive for the small changes instead. 

BTW... To me goals/resolutions can be interchangeable.  And no, you do not have to start on Jan. 1.  Any day you feel like making some positive changes is a good day.   The goal of this blog is to encourage you if you feel stagnant and need some motivation to make YOUR DESIRED positive changes.