New Year’s Resolutions – Four Tips to Keep it Real and On Track!

31 Jan 2011, Posted by EPoff in Random Thoughts

Well, as January 2011 comes to a close, it was a great opportunity to get out my 2011 resolutions list and see if I had accomplished all of my goals.  Of course, I knew I hadn’t, but I thought I’d be able to check off something.  And that I did.  I started a gluten-free diet, which hasn’t been easy, and has taken up a good deal of my time.  I had not, however, exercised daily, started cleaning up those children’s stories and writing new ones, or helped my son start his new gaming site.  Nor had I started and finished a couple of other major projects.

I’m not sure about you, but making such a huge, daunting list makes me lazy.  I feel so overwhelmed.  I don’t know where to start and so I just don’t.  And so as January comes to a close and February peeks out from behind this cold front coming, I decided not to give up on those resolutions.  In fact I’ve found a new way to help accomplish my goals and here’s how.

1. Firstly, don’t expect to accomplish all of your resolutions in the first month.  That’s just ridiculous.  Even if you have only one – like lose 15 pounds – it’s not an easy task and you shouldn’t expect to accomplish it in one month.  In fact, you may not want to because then you are left with 11 months of do-nothing or failure to uphold that resolution (especially after you caved in around February 14th and ate all that Valentine’s Day candy you swore you wouldn’t touch -ahem).  If you spread the resolution out a bit, you have time to make up for any mistakes along the way.

2. Spread out the resolutions throughout the year.  I’m starting a “Monthly Resolution” list which seems more manageable and will allow me to continue my goals from a month to month opportunity.  Since I didn’t finish everything in the first month of the year, I don’t have to wait through 11 months of failure to try again.

3. Next, don’t be so hard on yourself!  Remember the only one who will be disappointed that you didn’t fulfill that resolution is you (probably).  Your loved ones will support you no matter what, and others in your life will be secretly happy that you didn’t accomplish your goals either.  Misery loves company, so remember you aren’t alone.

4. Lastly, make it real and cut it into bite-sized, manageable pieces.  Let’s say you decided to run in a 5k race this year.  Well, you probably won’t put down the potato chips, stand up from the couch, brush yourself off and start running a 5k without a sweat.  You may need to start off with 20 minutes a day or 1k a day and then add a little each week until you reach your goal.  Maybe trying to run a race on February 2nd isn’t a good idea and finding one for say May or even September would be more realistic.

I’m sure, if you are like me, you want everything to happen now.  I want to be able to run that mini-marathon, have my major projects completed and be super healthy today!  But the reality is, whatever your goal – whether it’s to get a job, quit smoking, or uphold your gym membership –  you CAN make it happen in 2011 even if it didn’t get done in January.  Eleven months to go people – let’s make those resolutions proud!