So we are almost into February, and all those resolutions are probably starting to become not so resolute. I know what it's like, I too was a victim of the "Resolution Syndrome" at the beginning of each year; and every year it's the same thing. "I'm going to quit this, or start that." And as mentioned before, by the time February creeps in we find ourselves unchanged, underwhelmed, and maybe even unhappy. These resolutions rarely seem to work because there is no real end game. Telling yourself your going to quit something bad or start something good is great, until it no longer fits your lifestyle or schedule. So how do we actually change? It's easy, set goals. I know, I know...totally groundbreaking.
1) Create a Plan of Action
Goals and resolutions can be very similar, but most goals typically coincide with a plan of action on how to achieve that goal. Goals are tangible and quantifiable, resolutions are not. At the end/beginning of every year, I set goals for myself. These goals are spiritual, personal, health/fitness related, financial, and work related. I write these goals down, and then figure out a plan of action for each. My goals are memorized, and permeate my actions throughout the year. Some are easy, and may take a minute or 2 a day. Some will be a constant struggle through the year. However, all goals have an endgame. I may not finish or achieve my overall goal for the year, but I will consistently work toward it.
2) Practice Patient Endurance
My spiritual goal is to read the entire Old Testament this year. I'm following a plan on the Bible app that keeps track of my progress, and I've allotted time daily with more time dedicated to Sundays for catching up if I miss a day or two throughout the week. If I complete it by the end of the year, great, if not, I haven't failed, it just may take me a little longer than anticipated. That being said, don't set unreachable or fantastical goals. You can't lose 100 pounds in a month safely. Instead, set an overall goal, but chip away a pound at a time. You can't lose all the weight until you lose the first pound, and every pound lost (or gained for some folk) is a step in the right direction. It's the same in the gym. If you want to get stronger, gains are going to be incremental, but eventually, they will add up. However, there has to be a plan of action and a conscious effort to spend some extra time working on whatever your goal may be.
3) Tell Friends or Family
Another goal I have this year is to write 12 legitimate informational blogs this year. This, in case you were wondering, is my first, and now that I've told y'all, I'm more inclined to actually follow through and write them. I hate letting myself, and others down. When I decided to run a marathon, I told a lot of people about it for no other reason than accountability. I actually didn't really want to run it as the training got more and more difficult (and boring). But I had people asking me about it, and I don't like the idea, or the act of quitting. So I ran and completed a stupid marathon. Tell others about your goals, because support is a powerful thing.
So let's ditch the resolutions, and if you haven't already set up one or multiple goals for yourself, do it now. Write them down, tell others about them, and figure out how to achieve them. Don't get discouraged, goals aren't always easy, but I promise, the journey will pay off eventually.