January Is Almost Over… Do You Know Where Your Resolutions Are?

newyears_11685225923If you’re like most, your resolutions have already gotten lost in the shuffle of your daily life. You’re busy, I get it. But what really happened to those resolutions? Are the results just not worth it? Is it just not that important to you? Have you decided that things are really just fine the way they are? Really?

Rather than try to figure out why you didn’t stick to those resolutions, let’s talk about how to succeed with them instead. And since this is a fitness blog, this will really be about fitness resolutions. Although, hopefully this will apply to other types too.

One of the key things to remember about New Year’s resolutions is that they are just another set of goals. I know I’ve gotten caught up in feeling that the brand new year is sort of a magical clean slate and a chance to start over and do things right.

The truth is that January 1st is just another day. The date changes, but the rest of your life is the same. The same people, the same environment, the same habits and issues are all there. Baby New Year hasn’t done squat for dealing with any of it! And what do you expect? Poor thing is just a baby! 🙂

The trouble is that we get caught up in the perfectionism of the idea of a clean slate. You start on New Year’s day with this magical clean slate and you want everything to be perfect. As soon as you mess up, miss a workout, cheat on your diet, etc. it’s ruined. Don’t buy into that. When you mess up, just start over. Every now is your clean slate.

Let’s look a little more closely at the goals themselves. The first question I would ask you is: why did you wait until New Year’s to get started on your goal? Why not start any other day? Maybe you’re not ready to commit to achieving your goal. Maybe this goal is not really that important to you. That’s OK.

One of the keys to success is to make sure you’re starting right. You have to go back to goal setting 101. Set a goal that’s measurable. Set a deadline for achieving your goal. Do some planning to get ready to start working on your goal. Set some mini goals with shorter deadlines to keep you on track. Find ways to celebrate your milestones. And last but not least, know your whys. Why do you want to achieve this goal? What in your life has made it unbearable not to?

There are plenty of books and blogs that can give you more in depth goal setting processes, but those are the basic elements. If your goal isn’t worth the prep work then you’re probably not ready to actually do what it will take to reach that goal and it’s valuable to figure that out.

However, something got you wanting to make a change. So, maybe it’s just that you need to adjust your goals. Maybe a different target would make more sense and be more motivating. For example, is losing 20 pounds really inspiring to you? Or is it really that you want to feel strong and be able to play with your kids or keep up on the soccer field? This really goes back to finding your whys. Simply re-framing your goal can make all the difference.

It’s also really important to look at how not making this change in your life affects you. We let goals and resolutions slide because we tell ourselves that it’s easier to stick with the devil we know, the familiar circumstances. But what is it costing you to continue that way? What is it costing you to not change?

Once you find a goal that you really want and you find your whys, then don’t wait. If you need to plan and prepare, then set a deadline and start preparing right away. If starting your goal does happen to fall on New Year’s that’s OK. Just remember, it’s not a magic day. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of perfectionism. Know your whys. Have a plan. Celebrate every win. And keep going!

photo credit: renee.hawk via photopin cc

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2 Responses

  1. Stacy says:

    Great article! I just gained a whole new perspective on New Year’s resolutions. You’re right – every now is my clean slate. And thank you for the tips on setting goals. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Stacy! I’m glad you liked the post. Did it help you reignite your motivation for any resolutions that you set this year?

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