Welcome to my super grinchy New Years Resolution post.
I say super grinchy- because while what I am about to say may in fact be motivational to some- I doubt it was what you’d expect in a post about NY resolutions.
So. New Years resolutions are stupid. There I said it.
The shock. The horror.
So here is why I say this. If you’re looking to improve yourself, your weight, your finances, to stop dating idiots etc. Why wait until the first of the year?
I think using the first of the year as a time of reflection is better spent. Reflecting on: what did you not accomplish, why not, can you take steps to do this in the upcoming year?
Except instead of reflecting and resoluting (thats not a word I know) one day a year- let’s repeat this process at least 12 more times in the upcoming year. Yes I mean at least once a month.
So let me be clear it’s not the resolutions themselves I take issue with. The issue is the culture we live in – we tend wait for the first to make our resolutions- they last for 14 days or so. Then life happens and they fall by the wayside. It’s the fact that we drunkenly resolve to do something at 11 pm on NYE with little to no thought on how we will complete our goal, when it will fit into our lives – etc (see where I’m heading with this?!).
I personally avoid the gym in the month of January. Typically by February I’ll return as the fair weather resolution-ERs have stopped coming.
I’m not saying sit down make a vision board, but depending on your resolution – consider how you are going to meet your goal.
For instance every year my goal is to be better with my finances than I was the year before: this includes making budget, following it, revising it when needed and doing smarter things with my money – I.e. Putting money in a 401k vs buying a 10th pair of running shoes….. Even if they are reflective, and cute…
I genuinely believe in the power of being SMART, and therefore setting SMART goals. Especially if your resolutions are more behavior related.
Results-focused (realistic results)
SMART goals is a method of setting a goal, and being specific on how you will meet that goal.
SMART goals are essentially the: “who, what, when, where, and how” of a goal. They are very helpful for those times when life gets in the way especially in that crucial time when a new behavior has not yet become a habit, or when we are trying to get back on track with something that used to be habit.
Last year my goal was to do a marathon. So I picked out which marathon, registered, and once I got in I set up the other pieces. I had a specific goal, and date. My progress was measured each week as I increased my mileage, and could handle higher mileage better and better each week. I knew the goal was achievable, as I was able to work up to higher mileage – and my goal was pretty realistic straightforward – as I really just wanted to finish.
So even though I applied this logic to running – this can work for health behavior and weight loss. I think all of these pieces are important but especially being specific. Many times people set very basic goals, like “I want to be healthier”, “I want to lose weight”…. with little thought on the means of getting there.
But let’s think of it this way.
Goal: “I want to lose weight”
Specific: What amount of weight?
Measurable: Can be measured by weight, inches, and acquiring muscle mass
Achievable/Assignable: With behavior change it is entirely dependent on your – however, that doesn’t mean you can’t designate some support.
How will you achieve your goal? Will you go to the gym for 20 minutes a day 3 days a week, and increase?
Will you eat out less?
Realistic/Results: When it comes to weight loss, I will obviously advise working with a Registered Dietitian to determine what is a realistic amount of weight to lose. What is a realistic workout regimen?
Also another huge part of this piece is confidence. In fact I personally believe this deserves its own letter, but then it be “SMARCT” goals, doesn’t have quite the same ring. Confidence is so huge in goal setting and behavior change- how the heck do you think you will ever accomplish something if you don’t even believe you will?! So a huge part of this – is believing in yourself, to get there!!
Time: What time frame do you want to achieve that goal – and again let us be realistic. Losing 100 lbs in 2 months…. NOT realistic. 1-2 lbs per week? Ok yes.
Basically – when you fail to plan. You plan to fail.
So my friends. I wish you all a very healthy new year. Plan those resolutions, think them through, and take action. Reflect and adjust as needed! Set yourself up for success!!!
So with that being said, in the (paraphrased) words of Ron Burgundy, don’t have a great 2015, HAVE AN AMERICAN 2015.
Ok. Just have a really good 2015.