New Year’s Resolutions
This may or may not come as a surprise, but I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions.
What do I have against New Year’s resolutions? Here’s what: People often break resolutions, then feel bad about themselves, defeating the purpose.
Instead, I like sitting down periodically throughout the year and focusing on what’s important to me. I take a good, honest look at where I’m at and where I want to be. This applies to all my goals, including my health and wellness ambitions, fitness goals, parenting/relationship intentions or any other goal I’m striving toward. I encourage you to give this approach a try! It may save you from the negative cycle of an unfulfilled resolution. This approach is also in line with the philosophy of Life Time Athletic. Several years ago Life Time realized that New Year’s resolutions often led to disappointment and so they rolled out “Commitment Day“, a way to begin each year with a commitment to a healthier, happier life
Here’s the thing about achieving a goal – it’s not easy. As the saying goes, “anything worth having requires work.” To achieve goals, it typically means a change in behavior and consistent, intentional effort. At the foundation, it’s quite simple: In order to commit to change, you have to want something bad enough.
In order to commit to change, you have to want something bad enough.
Maybe your goal is to get your health back. Maybe you have a career-related goal. Maybe you just want to be happier, have a better marriage, travel more, buy a house, make new friends, run a marathon… Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with something that could be terminal and you’re determined to make lifestyle changes to control what you can. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to identify your goal, write it down and acknowledge it. For me, it’s a priority to stay healthy and have energy not only for myself, but for my kids.
There have been times when I’ve wanted to reduce my body fat percentage. Of course, it would have been easiest to wish, hope and ignore the fat that I know is there (correction, was there! ?) . But because I truly want to be the healthiest version of myself for my kids, I have deep enough motivation to commit to daily changes in order to achieve my goals.
Create a Plan
Once I’ve defined my goal(s), I outline a clear plan of what needs to happen to achieve the goal. When I wanted to reduce body fat percentage, I defined a workout schedule which included frequency and type of workouts. I also laid out a nutrition plan, which helped me evaluate the day-to-day food changes I needed to make.
Your ‘Why’ Matters
I can’t reiterate it enough – when identifying goals, make sure to ask yourself, do I really want this? And why do I want this? If your reasons are not rooted in the values you hold dear, they may not be strong enough reasons and you risk setting yourself up for failure, which can create a damaging cycle of disappointment and frustration. When planning your journey to achieve a goal, make sure to spend enough time identifying your values to make sure they’re aligned. In this way, you set yourself up for success!
Stay the Course but Remember to Love Yourself
Once you commit to a goal and outline a plan on how to achieve it, remember two things:
- STICK TO THE PLAN. Day in and day out, just do it. Don’t think about it – simply stick to the plan. Pretty soon it becomes habit, and the changes become easier.
- DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP. Things happen. Life gets in the way. There will be those days where things go wrong and you won’t be able to stick to the “all important plan”. That’s ok! Pick yourself back up, get back on track, and don’t sweat it. Change takes time and patience is a key ingredient to any great accomplishment.
These points may seem contradictory, but both are important. We need to maintain a mindset of fulfilling our commitments no matter how we feel that day, but we also need to give ourselves grace for the days that we fall short – to get back on track quickly, rather than getting stuck in guilt or shame.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Beyond identifying the day-to-day changes you’ll need to make to achieve your goals, find ways to hold yourself accountable. I like to sign up for a few events throughout the year that help keep me on track.
This year, I plan to run the Miami Half Marathon in January, climb Scale the Strat in February, bike the Austin Rattler race in March and compete in the Cheqamegon Mountain Bike Race in September. I also will do a quarterly detox, and each year I do the ‘Gut Fix‘ by Life Time which is basically a 30 day supplement and eating plan that is designed to optimize digestive health.
When it comes to health and wellness goals, I recommend scheduling a routine annual physical with your doctor, including a hormone panel (lab analysis of your blood to measure your hormones) to monitor your internal health, as you’re able to. I’m also a strong believer in food sensitivity testing to make sure you’re putting what’s best for you into your body and eliminating foods that may be causing inflammation or other issues.
In 2019, Chase Your Dreams and Achieve Your Goals
Staying on top of my health and fitness goals isn’t something I take lightly. It’s a way of life for me and is something that needs to happen EVERY DAY, not just in January. There is no short cut, no quick fix, or easy pill to take. But it is all part of the wellness journey! If you commit and put in the effort, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals.
Change is never easy! So as you evaluate the beginning of 2019 and your goals for the year, I encourage you to break it down, create a plan and and take it one day at a time so that it won’t seem like such a big mountain to climb.
Thank you so much for reading! As you know, I love to hear from you – so don’t be shy! Share your goals with me in the comments or by email.
Happy New Year!
All the best to you and your families as we enter 2019. ♡ -Emily