Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolution Time...

Happy New Years Eve!! Today is the day where people make resolutions that last until around the 3rd of January. And I'm guilty of this as well- I can't remember any resolution I've set that has even lasted a month. But I'm willing to try again. I decided to seek some guidance on the best way to set a successful resolution. Guidance=Google obviously: "How to set a New Years resolution I can stick to".  Google provided me multiple opinions regarding setting New Years resolutions. After a little research I came up with the 5 steps below which I believe will help us set achievable goals that we can be proud of accomplishing a year from today.

1. Be realistic by setting achievable goals. Very important in preventing early give-up syndrome. For example becoming a Victoria's Secret model is probably not an achieveable goal unless you currently look like Gisele. What is achievable? Losing weight, fitting into your skinny jeans, cutting out sugar, etc.
2. Describe your resolutions in specific terms. For example- instead of saying "To lose 20 pounds" incorporate the ACTION that it will take to reach that end goal. For example- "I will lose 20 pounds by working out 3x a week and eliminating fried foods from my diet".
3. Break down larger goals into smaller ones. Big life changes don't happen overnight. To prevent yourself from getting frustrated- try breaking things down. Say your end goal is to run a marathon this year- start with weekly running goals that are part of a plan to get you to your end goal eventually. Celebrate each week, month or even DAY that you are on track to achieving your resolution.
4. Find alternatives to the behavior you want to change and include that as part of your resolution. Important. If your resolution is to stop binge eating- but right now that's a stress reliever for you- what are you going to do to replace it? For example "Every time I feel stressed and want to eat- I will __________(go for a walk, read a book, call a friend etc). Having a plan will help prevent reverting to old behaviors out of habit.
5. Aim for things that are truly important to you, not what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you. This is my favorite and I think the most critical guideline. If I know anything about losing weight or being healthy- it's that it's not going to happen because someone else wants it- it has to be 100% about you.
When I went to write my own resolutions I realized they were all weight or fitness based. While that's not a bad thing- I think we all need to remember that being a healthy person isn't all about weight, pants size, or your mile time- true health incorporates all aspects of your life: relationships, career, self esteem, general pleasure out of life. Still stuck? See if one of these topics/questions can inspire a resolution for you.
Learn Something New-what don't you know that you wish you did?
Enjoy Life More- what makes you the happiest & how can you do it more often?
Simplify Your Life- what things/people/or tasks do you need to let go of?
Be Healthy- what steps do you need to take to get healthy?
Help Others- what can you do to make a difference in another person's life?

Find what you need to work on to make you happy & go for it! It's a New Year (and decade!) and anything is possible.

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