No More Resolutions! Plus, 5 Ways to Fine Tune your Resolutions
Did you read that right? Little Miss LO Solutions Health girl is saying forget your New Year’s Resolutions and give up already?! Well, not quite. What I am saying is that if any of the following scenarios sound familiar it might be time to rethink the idea of New Year’s Resolutions and fine tune yours:
You have not yet started your New Year’s Resolution(s).
You have started and restarted your New Year’s Resolution(s) several times already this month.
Before you started, you went full force in the other direction from Halloween till New Year’s because why not, you were going to change ON January 1st, right?
You already decided next year would be a much better time for that resolution so you just went right back into old habits and a few more “bad” habits crept in.
You have “good” and “not so good days” with your resolution and can’t seem to move forward and make progress.
If any of these scenarios sound like you it might be time to start conquering daily resolutions instead of New Year’s Resolutions. What do I mean? Well, this became crystal clear last Sunday in Yoga class (remember I wrote this in 2007). The teacher asked us to say our name (because there were some new faces in the crowd) and a New Year’s Resolution if we had one and wanted to share it with the class. Only a few folks out of over 15 didn’t have a resolution. I was one of the last people and I never make resolutions so I was trying to figure out what to say:
“Do I tell her one of my constant goals I’m working on?”
“Do I give a reason why I don’t make resolutions?”
“Do I say I don’t make them but still share one of my goals anyways?”
“If I share a goal, which one?”—I couldn’t figure out what to say....
Well I said, “I’m Lila and I don’t make resolutions because I’m kind of always working on goals throughout each year”. I didn’t say anything else because I didn’t know which goal to share and none of them were necessarily bigger or more important to me than the others.
So, when it came to the teacher’s turn she basically said (in yoga philosophy terms that included a nice quote from a book) that she doesn’t make resolutions because of the concept that it gives someone an excuse to go full force in the opposite direction for however long they choose before they move forward with their goal. Because of this backwards slide, when someone does decide to move forward with their goal, it’s often even harder to reach and might not happen because they were so far from their goal at that time. Don’t quote me on that but it was basically something like that and I thought, YES, that’s SO true, that’s why I don’t make resolutions.
So, why not try to be more moderate, honest and truthful with ourselves and others and move towards making daily, weekly and monthly goals so you can achieve them gradually, focus on the positive, and feel like we’re accomplishing them instead of feeling like a failure mid-January because we didn’t DO our resolutions.
You can’t just DO a resolution. It takes many steps to reach a goal. I’m not saying to forget your resolutions this year, just that you might want to rethink the reality of your life situation and where the resolutions/goals you made fit, or don’t fit into that. I work with this concept all year long with clients. Someone says they want to lose 20# by a certain date or offer a brilliant "yes!" that they want to do the full MRT/LEAP protocol starting “tomorrow”. My job is to coach them and see exactly how these things can happen. I literally have clients pull out their calendar after we review their LEAP protocol and figure out when they can realistically grocery start, prep, and “start”.
I personally don’t make resolutions because I’m working on goals every single day and when I think back or come across old lists of goals, I can clearly see I made progress. I still have to remind myself of how far I’ve come vs. what is left on my list because it’s a never ending, EXTENSIVE list of goals I want to reach for myself and my business. Your “work” is never ever done as an entrepreneur. However, I start my goals when the time is right, which could be a random day throughout the year. Remember I wrote most of this newsletter (aka: blog) in 2007: One of my goals back then was that I was trying to fit more yoga classes into my schedule. I recently realized I started this goal over 6 years ago when I began attending one class/week (so back in 2001). After many trials of finding teachers and classes I liked and manipulating my schedule over and over, I’ve recently been able to achieve and fit 3-5 classes per week into my schedule. In reality this was a 6-year resolution in the making and then many years after that once I made it more conscious and important.
Refer to the Stages of Change to learn more about this process for yourself and your loved ones. Just thinking, hoping and praying are the first steps towards an intention. If one year I had said, “I want to do yoga every day this year and get flexible” then I would have “failed” instantly because that goal just isn’t possible in the short term and definitely won’t happen overnight. Fast forward to 2018: Yoga remains part of who I am and my schedule. I attend classes 3-4x/week, work it into my own fitness programs, and I became a certified Yoga teacher in 2009. Yoga asana (poses) and philosophy are a part of my life and my LO Solutions. It weaves into client sessions even if we’re not on a yoga mat - even if we’re not physically moving. Be sure to check out the “Netflix of Fitness” article for some of my favorite yoga programs - for all ages and levels!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Here are 5 Ways to Fine Tune your Resolutions/Goals:
Is it specific? If not, you might not know where you’re trying to go. For example, is your goal to eat healthier or exercise more? Specific goals are more achievable. For example: do you want to eat more fruits and/or vegetables, drink less pop, drink more water? If it’s something like eat more fruit, then you need to come up with a specific plan, e.g., 1. buy fruit on Sunday, 2. wash and prepare what you can right away, 3. strive to eat 2 fruits/day, 4. eat one fruit with breakfast and one with lunch, etc....Make it as concrete as you can. If exercise is your goal, make is specific, e.g., walk 30 minutes M-W-F during my lunch break with my co-worker Suzie Q. TIP: Have a back-up plan too.
Is it achievable? Did you decide to exercise every single day, yet you don’t have a gym membership, you go to work and get off work when it’s dark outside, you hate “exercise”, your house doesn’t have any floor space and you almost always have a late meeting during the week? If so, that goal needs fine tuning and it might need to be taken down a notch to make it realistic for your life situation. Step 1 may be to rearrange your work schedule first and just start planning movement into your life.
Is this goal important to you? Are you working out because your significant other keeps saying you should? Make sure this goal is for you, or it just won’t work. Ask yourself how important this goal is on a scale of 1-10. Why are you that number and not lower? Why are you that number and not higher? Write this information down and see what you come up with. If it’s important, then ask yourself the next question:
Are you confident you can reach your goal? Again, use the 1-10 scale and analyze your answers. This might help you come up with ways to be more confident or you might find out you are in fact confident and this could increase your confidence even more to help you reach your goal.
Do you have support? You might think yes right away. However, make sure it’s real support and not something that seems like support that could back fire. For example, if you eat a healthy cookie you’re craving, is someone behind you saying, “Should you be eating that?”, and then you get mad and eat the whole box to be self-destructive and show that person you can do whatever you want?! If so, you might need to have a talk with your support system and ask them not to say anything when you eat a cookie because you’re trying to eat in moderation and have one daily treat/day, or whatever the case may be. Just be sure to surround yourself with supportive friends and family and tell someone your goal and get them involved to help hold you accountable (if that helps you). Your support system should ultimately help you succeed and not drag you down!
I want to congratulate you if you read this post and feel like you’re on track and have taken the necessary steps to make successful resolutions this year. Either way, I hope the above information helps you make attainable goals and I wish you the very best in reaching and maintaining your aspirations.
One final thought. I hear this often, “I know what to do when it comes to nutrition and fitness but I’m not doing it. Can you help me?” Absolutely! As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with over 18 years of experience, this is what I do. I help my clients overcome barriers to achieve and maintain their nutrition, health and fitness goals. Every client’s protocol looks vastly different. We may start with fitness and personal training, maybe nutrition and supplements, or maybe we clean slate your health by starting with MRT/LEAP to heal the body first (decrease inflammation!) so you feel better and can then move into fitness. Email me if you’re interested in finding out more about how to make permanent lifestyle changes. No more diets, guilt or restriction in 2018!