Resolutions? Why not goals?

As we start a new year, we’ve been conditioned that we should reassess our lives and make a huge list of everything we want to change. Then we call those things our “New Year’s Resolutions”. Then we try to do it all, get overwhelmed and give up two weeks in and say it’s too hard, we are losers and we have to accept where we are in our lives.

I know! I’ve been there! For many years, that’s exactly how I started out each new year. First off, looking at only all the negative things depressed me. So not only would I have this huge list of things that no one human could accomplish in a year but also started off being depressed. And that will never set you up for success. I got smart probably around 8 years ago and said screw resolutions!

What I wish everyone would do is look over the past year and think of all the accomplishments. Then think about a few things you want to improve/change. And then if you have a big list, look at that list and prioritize. Attempting to do too much can overwhelm you and set you up for failure.

Every person’s journey is different

For me, back at the beginning of 2016, I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. This was actually in February so it had nothing to do with “resolutions”. I decided to do one thing. That one thing was change how I ate. When I did that, I actually started feeling better and had more energy. Then when I had more energy, I started running. I got into a 5k program and ran 2 5ks that summer. Then I decided I wanted to add in strength training. The more I did, the better I felt. And I learned that how I fueled my body determined how I performed and how I felt. So it was easy for me to eat what I should because I looked at it as fuel.

For the first time in my life, I was not thinking about a number on the scale or a number on a tag in my clothing. I only cared about how I felt and what I could do. But the happy side effect was that I had dropped weight. But by shifting my mindset for weight to not be the focus, my life changed. I have lost 65 lbs while not stress about a number which can fluctuate on a daily basis.

Before this, I’d dropped and gained the same 50 lbs countless times. The problem one, the goal was the scale. When I hit a number, I considered myself done. And guess what? You stop counting your calories or working out and next thing you know, you’re back to where you were. But changing my mindset to thinking about how I feel and what I can do, it has made this a continuous journey. It doesn’t end. I set a new goal for myself, whether it’s run a 15k or be able to lift a certain amount of weight. Then when I do that, on to the next goal.

Advice to you as you go into 2018

If you want to create resolutions for yourself, make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself with too much. And if there is a lot you want to accomplish, then prioritize and work through your list. And maybe instead of calling them resolutions, set goals. That way, once one goal is achieved, you can move on to the next.

Also, if you need help and support, GET A COACH!!!! The first year of my journey, I did it all on my own. Then I had that moment where I realized I wasn’t progressing like I wanted to and decided to get a coach. You noticed I said coach and not trainer. There is a different. I had a trainer before. That person would meet me at the gym and we’d do a session and that was it. When I got a coach, I got someone who was with me every step of the way and actually cared about my physical and emotional wellbeing. We work a plan which not only includes workouts and nutrition, but also knowledge of how the body works and why it is we have meal plans or workouts set in a certain way. We have an open and honest relationship. I can tell him “I ate like shit this weekend and I’m feeling it!” and there is no judgement. But then he knows why maybe my head isn’t in the game that day. Or if something is off, we talk it through to figure out what it is and work on fixing it. Having that support also helps me stay motivated.

All this to say, don’t let all the talk of resolutions get to you. I challenge you to think about one thing you’d like to change/improve and focus on that one thing. You might be surprised how it could change your life!