Isn’t that a common question? Every year tons of folks make resolutions to get fit, eat better, lose weight, stop eating junk and so on and so on.
Try something new this year. Don’t make a New Year’s resolution, make a New Month resolution. A year is a long time. Often times 2 months down the line (if not 2 weeks), folks forget their resolutions. Why not take all of your “New Year” resolutions and break them into New Month resolutions. Here’s a typical example:
New Year Resolution
Change it to:
Begin an exercise program
I will exercise x amount of minutes x days each week. On days 1, 3 and 5, I will do weight training and toning and on days 2, 4 and 6, I will do aerobics for x minutes each day. On day 7, I will rest.
The more specific your goals, the better. Resolutions should be spelled out in such a fashion that your 8-year-old child could read them and tell you if you’re honoring your resolutions.
Once you’ve mastered your first month’s resolution, go onto the next month. For example:
Goal: Lose weight.
I will drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water daily, eat fresh fruits and vegetables 3 to 5 times a day, cut out fried and highly processed foods (no more fast foods), eat more whole grains, lean meat and fish, eliminate soda, sugar, white flour, excess salts (you get the idea).
Again, you want to make your goals specific. If your 8-year-old has your February resolutions in her hand and she walks in as you’re about to eat a meal, she can check your list, look at your plate and determine if you are sticking with your goals.
Once you have managed January and February then move onto the next.
Chart Your Progress
An important part of honoring goals and resolutions is to chart progress. You need to know your starting point to get a better idea as to whether or not you’ve made improvements. Setting the baseline is the most painful (and embarrassing) part of the process.
For instance, if you want to lose weight/get in shape, strip down to your skivvies and take photos of yourself, front back and side views (what a sobering thought). Then get on the scale (even more sobering). Once you get off of the scale, take your measurements (brutal).
Next, take some vital stats such as your resting heart rate, blood pressure (you can go to the local drug store and use their blood pressure machines), blood sugar level if you have a glucometer.
Finally, set a base fitness level. See how many push ups, sit ups, leg lifts, knee bends (if your knees allow) you can do in your current state. Throw in any exercise you wish to chart on your journey.
Take all of your baseline information and put it away. You don’t want to look at it too often because it can be depressing (I’m speaking from experience here).
Now its time to put your goals into action. Put a copy of your goals on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, your computer screen or anywhere you need to remind yourself of what you’re trying to accomplish. You’ve got to focus on the goal because change is not easy (at first).
After 30 days, pull out your dreaded stats. Go through the whole measuring process again. If you stuck with your goals, you will notice an improvement. Now all you need to do is wash, rinse and repeat.
Once you’ve mastered these goals, you’ll be able to make serious resolutions the following year. All of the superficial stuff such as getting in shape, losing weight, quit smoking and drinking will all be taken care of. Next year you’ll be able to spend time exploring your inner self and becoming a better person.