It’s December 30th. Christmas is over, and those of us who are lucky enough to have the holidays off work are making the most of our last few days. The break has been filled with lazy morning breakfasts, movies, and on a good day, some baking (…and maybe even a good workout).
Scrolling through Instagram, it’s impossible to ignore that the year is coming to an end. “Best of 2015” posts and #2015bestnine are everywhere. For me, the end of the year is always bittersweet. As 2015 comes to a close, I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish, and grateful for the many blessings I’ve had this year.
In 2015 I became a better fitness instructor. I became a better designer. I became a better manager, writer, and wife. I learned some important things about myself. I came out ahead of a health crisis. I maintained a full-time work schedule, teaching schedule, workout schedule, and continued to cook real, whole food meals daily.
But there’s always something else we could have done, right? Something more we should have done? I have mixed feelings about setting New Year’s resolutions. Of course I believe in the power of goal-setting, and any steps toward eating healthier or getting fit are worth taking. The problem with resolutions is that they are always so unattainable. If your goal is to lose 20 lbs in January, then I’m sorry to break it to you, but you are probably going to fail.
So, how can we make a resolution that will stick? The key is to focus on the process, not the outcome.
Focus on the process, not the outcome.
If you want to lose weight, your resolutions should be focused on 1 or 2 behaviors that will help you lose weight.
I resolve to track my food intake and eat (insert reasonable calorie goal here) calories per day.
I resolve to walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
I resolve to do strength training at least twice a week.
When your goal is focused on behavior, and not outcome, you are in control of your success. For example, if you start strength training and tracking your food intake, you will likely see positive changes in your body even if the scale stays the same. And if you were focused only on losing weight, you would be discouraged when you did not achieve your goal, even if you had actually made great progress.
For the best chance of success, plan ahead for any obstacles you might encounter along the way. The more you can prepare for when things go wrong, the easier it will be to keep on track. Want to eat better, but travel a lot? A little time spent in advance prepping healthy snacks on-the-go and researching healthy menu options in the area will go a long way. Looking to be more active, but work long hours? A lunchtime workout or bike commute might be a better plan than an hour at the gym on a weeknight.
Most of all, a good resolution should be more than just a vanity goal. Don’t be the girl that resolves to lose 5 lbs and gets there by losing water weight with laxatives. I’ve been there, and it doesn’t feel good.
I have a few resolutions for 2016, and I’ll talk a bit more about my dietary goals in a separate post, but my biggest goal for 2016 is to remember to be grateful. We all have busy, full lives, and it’s so easy to get overwhelmed, over-stressed, angry, or depressed. In those moments, I want to remember how lucky I am to be so busy. To have so many amazing things going on in my life. To have wonderful people in my life to take care of. To have the grace to make time for myself. To have the self-control to get enough sleep. To avoid the things I know will cause me trouble. I resolve to be a little bit better. A little bit wiser. And a lot happier.
P.S. What are your 2016 resolutions?