As 2018 comes to an end and we look forward to new opportunities in 2019, many of us will be making our New Year’s resolutions. Do you make resolutions? Do you write them down? Do you actually keep them? For how long?
These are questions we face every year.
The most common resolutions people make are related to diet and fitness. We resolve to eat healthy, exercise more and lose those extra pounds. Next, we focus on being a “better person.” We may resolve to volunteer more or give more to charity, or be more patient or understanding. Finally, we focus on career improvement, personal relationships and living arrangements.
Most of us start out with the best of intentions, but life gets in the way of perfection and our resolutions often get pushed aside. Sometimes we make resolutions we never expect to keep simply because we think it’s expected of us. After all, who doesn’t have a couple of pounds to shed after the holidays?
Many experts advise against making New Year’s resolutions. Why set yourself up for failure? Why strive for what may be an unrealistic goal?
I’m not an expert, but I believe in setting goals and that’s what our resolutions should be – realistic goals. The people in our lives need to see us set goals and make healthy choices. But, how do we do that?
Always remember – one size does not fit all. Your resolutions have to be specific to your life. After you’ve done your homework and have a plan it’s time to pull the trigger and start working on your resolutions.
The worst enemies to achieving your goals are:
Diet and exercise aren’t instant fixes – no program – no matter what it claims - works overnight or fixes everything. It won’t make you taller. If you want to be healthier, you need to examine your lifestyle and make changes. But, don’t throw out the entire pantry and dive into the latest fad diet or new exercise craze. Realize that you may slip up and eat an extra cookie or say an unkind word, but that doesn’t mean you are doomed to make the same mistakes every day. You need a realistic plan. Substitute a glass of water for a soda until you replace soda all together. Slow and steady progress brings lasting results. Radical lifestyle changes shouldn’t be made without consulting a doctor. Your ideal weight is a range not one magic number. Set goals to help you get to this range and depending on you height and frame you can fine tune.
Some medical conditions or the medications needed to treat them have dietary restrictions. For example, grapefruit/grapefruit juice is a no no with many types of medications. Many exercise programs are designed for people who already have a certain level of fitness and may be dangerous for the “couch potato.”
Complacency and Fear:
It can be difficult to admit we’ve gained a few pounds or gotten into a rut at work. We’re comfortable with what we know whether it’s good for us or not. It takes courage to change jobs, make new friends or walk away from toxic people in your life. It’s easy to fall back into old habits, but staying too far in your comfort zone maintains the status quo.
Fear and Procrastination:
Waiting for the perfect day to start something new? There is no perfect day!
I put fear with complacency and procrastination because they go hand in hand. Fear of change and fear of failure are the death knell for many New Year’s Resolutions. Write down your resolutions and revisit them every month. Make changes as needed. What are you really afraid of? If you have a bad day, you can always hit the restart button. Are you afraid of the person you might become? If you don’t like the person you are now, what do you have to lose?