This is the time of year when some start thinking about improving themselves in the New Year. Here is some food for thought as you begin forming your resolutions.
It may seem ironic given the subject of this blog, but I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. Why not? I believe, generally speaking, you are in control of your own life. I realize you cannot control the seemingly random events nor the actions others take that change the path of your life. However, you do have the power inside of yourself to make choices that put you in positions where there is a probability things will happen the way you intend.
I also question the premise of waiting for a New Year. If you see something that will make your life better, take action now. Don’t wait! After all, none of us are promised the random acts of life won’t take our tomorrow away. It is important to set goals and work toward them throughout our lives, no matter what time of year it happens to be.
I don’t want to be too much of a downer. If New Years is what it takes to get you thinking about improving yourself, then by all means take full advantage of it and make some resolutions! I’ve included some thoughts below to help you with that. This is what I use to help me set goals throughout the year.
I think we sometimes set ourselves up for failure by making too many New Year’s resolutions. If you do make New Year’s resolutions, consider limiting how many you make. Pick the top one or two things you want to make better and make them your goals. Once you achieve them, set new goals. If you spread yourself too thin, you will have a lot of half met goals, and that could lead you to feeling like a perpetual failure and giving up entirely.
A, B, C
Consider setting goals with varying levels of difficulty.
‘A’ goals would be stretch – if you’ve never exercised, maybe an A goal would be to run a marathon. It’s definitely possible, and if you achieve it you have accomplished a great thing and should feel a deep personal satisfaction. My A goal is to be able to do a Scorpion.
‘B’ goals are still challenging but easier than ‘A’ goals. In my previous example, if you’ve never exercised before, maybe your ‘B’ goal is to hold a plank or dolphin plank for 1 min. Again, definitely possible and much easier than Scorpion or a marathon, but it still takes effort and accountability.
‘C’ goals are your fallback. These should still require effort, but it should be easy enough that you can at least point to it as an accomplishment if you don’t meet your ‘A’ or ‘B’ goal. It may be as simple as making your bed every day. No matter what that day brings in terms of success or failure, at least you have accomplished that first task. That feeling of accomplishment builds and helps you with the next task.
Think About the Future!
When you consider your New Year’s resolutions, think about more than one year. For example, if you stop smoking or get your debt under control, the effect of accomplishing this goal will be magnified over the remaining years of your life. Consider questions like these: What could be a consequence of a choice that I make today? Is this really what I (we, for families) want? How much do I (we) have to sacrifice to get there?
I know our plans breakdown sometimes when things happen outside our sphere of influence. Life happens! But when it does for me, if everything else is in order, I know that I am calmer and can put more energy into resolving the chaos at hand.
If your resolution is to get active, email me and let’s chat about how I can help you. If you are in the midst of chaos now and need to do some venting on the mat, check out my Holiday Special.