New Year's Resolutions: How To Get the Results You Want
January 04, 2012
It's the first week of 2012, and people are feverishly bypassing their former vices. What drives them? At this point, it's raw determination and the assurance that they're starting with a clean slate. As the year unfolds though, motivation is harder to come by. It's easy to get on a slippery slope. We tend to lapse back into old habits. Their familiarity holds more appeal for us than does laboring in the name of goals that no longer seem worth the effort.
The truth is that we're usually pretty good at coming up with ideas. Ideas are intangible things though, and without a plan for turning them into measurable actions, we won't be realizing our goals any time soon. The trick is to start with a small goal. Achieving it will bring a sense of accomplishment and urge us to aim even higher.
We also have to make sure that meeting our goals always seems worth the effort. You want to lose 50 lbs...But why? Are you trying to impress someone? What happens if your hard work doesn't have the intended effect? Are you really making your resolutions for the right reasons? Try to think long-term. If you do something often enough, if you incorporate it into who you are and how you live your life, it will become habit.
The problem with New Year's resolutions is that they don't encourage us to think long-term when it comes to the goals we have for ourselves. If New Year's resolutions worked, would we really have the same ones every year? While there is something to be said for progress being a gradual process, we also have to admit to our own individual failures. We can't let our missteps discourage us.
This could be the New Year you take the reins and accomplish what you've sought to accomplish for every New Year's you can recall. You'll have to exercise a bit of discipline though. I'd advise you to find a friend or family member with a similar goal. It's hard to go it alone, but when you've got support, when you realize that your success means everything, then it's a lot harder to give up.
Here's an example from my own life:
Since losing my mother late last year, I've wanted to do something to honor her and help others who are currently fighting cancer. I have also wanted to get into shape. I decided to take part in a charitable 5k. I took it a step further though. I promised myself that I would run the entire distance-about 3 miles. That's my big goal this year. I'm taking lots of little steps to build up my endurance and strength. I work out with a friend several times a week. We keep one another honest. We urge one another to run further. When I would have normally been enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee, I was doing a fast-paced aerobics class instead.
What are your big goals? What small steps are you taking to realize them? What one piece of advice would you offer to those who want to change their lives but just don't know how?
And if you're one of the ones needing a nudge in the right direction, check this out.
North Independence Branch