Ah, The New Year
I love new things, don’t you? A new notebook, new car, new shoes? New things hold empty space, possibility, and are void of our mistakes. Celebrating a new year is something magical. There is the meeting of honored tradition and expected change as the clock strikes twelve. Did you kiss your sweetheart? Cheers champagne? Did you sing Auld Lang Syne when the ball dropped, even though you don’t really know the words?
How about your new year’s resolution? Did you make one? Presumably, you did. Whether public or private, there is at least one goal you set, one promise you made to yourself as you rang in this new year, 2018.
Set the Right Kind of Resolutions
When I think “New Year’s Resolution,” I think of a big goal, so big that it is almost more of a dream. It’s one change to your reality that you think will act as a little sprinkling of pixie dust and change everything for you.
Get a new job.
Pay off debt.
All those are great goals. But there are a few problems with them. Firstly, they aren’t measurable, and secondly, they are one line, when they should include a course of action.
Let’s take a look at that first one – lose weight. I will be honest with you. This is on my list in 2018. There are about 15 extra pounds that have lingered since the birth of my baby girl last June. More important than the number on the scale, I have also struggled to fall into a regular exercise routine that I was in before I had her. So here is one possible resolution and then, below it, my personal, specific, action-oriented weight loss resolution for 2018.
I will lose 15 pounds in 2018.
Fitness Goal– I will resume and adopt a lifestyle that includes a daily fitness regimen and clean diet. By then end of 2018, I will have lost 15 pounds.
- I will start and maintain a lifting and cardio program starting January 1, working out at least 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes. Every two weeks, I will plan out my workouts and write them down.
- I will plan my meals on Sunday afternoons and prep all meals and snacks by Monday afternoon. My kinds and I will eat healthfully.
See, goal is the finish line. But if your race isn’t mapped out, how will you ever get there?
Be Gracious in Your Goal-Setting
Mama, this grace is for YOU!! You deserve to look at yourself with less scrutinizing eyes. My goal this year is to lose 15 pounds. Could I lose more? Yeah, probably. I could safely lose 20-25 and feel pretty good about it. However, I know my body. I know that my current weight minus 15 pounds is a great place for me to be. At that weight, I feel confident and I am able to maintain my results with a regular, but not obsessive, diet and exercise plan.
My fitness is important to me for several reasons. One of those reasons is my kiddos. I want to be a good example for them and have the stamina and strength to keep up with them every day. But I don’t have all the time in the world to work out. And if my kid is eating ice cream, I am sure as hell going to have some too.
Set Several New Year’s Resolutions
Do you spend your whole life focused on your fitness? No? Then why would that be the only area in which you set a goal for improvement? I recommend sitting down in the quiet, putting pen to paper, and giving real thought to several things.
What are the areas of our life that are most important to you? – My list included my children, marriage, friendships, finances, fitness, and writing.
In each area, what is an attainable and measurable goal that you can shoot for in the coming year?
How can you break down your goals into parts? If you can turn your big, huge goal into 3 or 4 smaller goals, you may have an easier time staying motivated. And really, your big goals usually require this. For example, this year, one of my new year’s resolutions is to teach my son to read.
It is my hope that he can read a small book by himself come December. But I am not going to just sit him down with a book tomorrow and simply hope for the best. Since he is fairly proficient at recognizing the alphabet, we will be starting by making sure he is rock solid on those, move on to what sound the letters make, and learn some sight words.
Here’s the thing about new year’s resolutions – no one is going to do anything if you don’t follow through on them. If you don’t lose the weight, finish your novel, buy the house – whatever – you will, most likely, be letting yourself down most of all.
It’s easy to back slide in your goals. Most of us do. If you want to see just how bad we are a sticking our resolutions, visit any gym this month, and then go back in June or so. You will see that lots of January gym-goers have pooped out on the changes they hoped to make.
So, when you sit down to write your resolutions, and break them down into smaller parts, add a deadline to each part, and post it somewhere. Maybe in your home, on the fridge or mirror, maybe in your office at work. But make sure it is somewhere you will see it. Better yet, put it somewhere where OTHER people might see it and ask you about it. Hold yourself accountable.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet for auld lang syne. . .
Happy New Year!