Steps to Reach Goals, no Resolutions
I’m not making a list of resolutions again this year and it seems I’m not alone with that plan.
Personally, I suck at keeping resolutions anyhow. I’ve asked myself why this might be and surmised that it was due to the lack of a solid plan, something with defined steps to help reach my goal(s) “de l’année.”
(de l’année is like du jour, but for the year instead)
Resolving to “insert end result here” midnight promise is bound to fail,
if you don’t put together a strategy.
( All promises, while hugging porcelain on the first day of January, are null and void resolutions.)
If you spend any amount of time on Pinterest boards, looking for inspirations, you might find this Alan Lakein quote as it is most likely in there, if not..
It should be..
So what about resolutions, are we are doomed to failure due to power of suggestion, after all, everywhere you look we are reminded that resolutions mean failure. Current media reports remind us how early, and badly, we failed last year, just before they counter with a plan how we can better prepare ourselves going forward?
The message that resolutions are bound to fail make it just so darn easy to let go of these personal promises, remaining guilt free.
Failing at resolutions, isn’t that what we are
destined to do.. ?
Aren’t the cool kids are all doing it?
I’ve sworn off resolutions, again this year, as they apparently aren’t working, at least according to news reports and popular magazines. What did work for me was setting goals and making a plan. Using this model I was successful in not only reaching one goal last year, but I was able to toss in a bonus goal as well.
Enlist your friends in helping you reach your goals.
Your friends can join you for dance classes, share healthy recipes, motivate you when you are down, sit in the lunch room with you, and celebrate your victories.
Aren’t we reported to be the sum of our 5 closest friends? If your 5 closest friends all swore off Talenti Sea Salt Caramel gelato starting Jan 1, then they started mumbling “resolutions smesholutions” by January 5th, chances the train is off the tracks for everyone in the resolution group.
No, I’m not suggesting you ditch your 5 closest friends.. Just ditch making those big singular undefined resolutions with them.
(maybe ditch the friend(s) that constantly derail your best laid plans.. just sayin’)
Instead… Pick a Goal, then… Make a Plan..
Define the needed steps to get you to a realistic goal.
Yes I said realistic goal…. we’d all like to become millionaires by next year, just like Bruno Mars says, without a plan it’s unlikely to happen.
Even a lottery winner made the plan to buy a ticket!
Planning to reach an end goal is like planning to run a marathon; the end goal is crossing the finish line. You need to work towards that end goal.
There are a lot of planned steps long before you put your shoes on the morning of the run!
For the sake of argument we’ll pick to improve overall health as our goal.
- The first step is to evaluate your immediate lifestyle and make a list of both the good and bad things going on. At the same time:
- Think about what you need to change to be healthy.
- List things you feel need to change, this is your steps list.
The step might be (steps picked at random here as every person is different)
- If you are a soda drinker first step might be to replace half your soda consumption with water or tea, maybe one soda for every 2 glasses of water for two consecutive weeks. When that becomes easier to do make it one soda a day for two weeks while continuing the water habit, then a soda on special occasions, eventually you will lose your taste for soda. At least that is what happens to most people.
- This also works with less fast food by making a plan to prepare your work meals in advance, which makes it easier to not do the drive thru. Once planning and bringing your own lunch and snacks to work becomes habit, you’re less likely to fall prey to those dollar meals.
- Perhaps not eating processed foods is your trigger or swapping out fried foods with baked foods will help you on your journey. Recipe swap with friends, have themed pot luck gatherings and have friends all bring something creative that isn’t processed or fried foods. Learning new cooking habits takes time as well as we tend to cook in familiar ways.
- If you aren’t dedicated to exercise you might:
~ Go for a walk after dinner three times a week,
~ Add a weekly bike ride/hike/activity.
~ Add a fitness activity with friends; like a Zumba class. If it is winter where you are, a gym might be needed to allow exercise.
- Resistance training is beneficial on so many levels, talk to your local gym for some training sessions, or for a fitness schedule to follow.. better yet.. hire a trainer to help keep you accountable. Work with your trainer over time to learn and develop new fitness habits and to learn proper form to get the most out of every workout.
- Find a group of like-minded people to help keep you motivated on your journey, this can be critical to being successful.
If better health is your goal, hiring a trainer takes a lot of the goal planning off your shoulders and makes your journey easier.
Less Stress = more Success….
Mastering each of your outlined steps until it feels comfortable, almost habitual, before moving onto the next step will help your success in the long-term. The best part of this approach is that your steps can be as simple as:
- eating an extra fruit serving daily,
- walking the dog each morning/evening, or
- assigning one day a week to do a specific task you’d like to become a habit.
By the end of the year, if all goes as planned, you will have developed new habits that will help for years to come.
Remember, life is a journey, celebrate all the successes as they are part of your journey to your larger goal.
Setbacks are to be expected, don’t give up because you stumbled on your journey, instead get up, dust yourself off and try to master the step again.