’Tis the season of resolutions and people asking you what your resolution is. Most people make a resolution to lose weight. This causes me to have to wait a damn hour for a freakin’ treadmill at the gym where I’ve been a member for two years. I joined in September 2014 because it was starting to get cold and hell no I’m not running outside in the winter in New Jersey. I may be crazy, but I’m not that crazy.
Over the past couple years I’ve noticed that the die-hard resolution makers no longer show up come February. Funny how that works isn’t it? There could be any number of reasons for this phenomenon but maybe it has something to do with making a single resolution for the year. When you make a resolution, you’re setting a goal. Goal setting is something that takes place every hour of every day. We find ourselves saying I’m going to finish this task by X o’clock today. I’m going to finish task A by the end of the week. Most of the time we set goals without really knowing we’re doing it.
So instead of saying your New Years resolution is to lose weight, why not get specific and take it in steps? Maybe in January I’m going to see my doctor and talk to him/her about how to get to a healthy weight and use that information to set a goal weight to get down to by the end of the year. In February I’ll make a change to my diet and join a gym. In March I’m going to stick to my diet and raise my physical activity from working out 0 times per week to twice a week and well you get the idea.
When you take your goal and break it into individual steps it prevents you from becoming intimidated by it and giving up. Also point of fact, if you’re sick of making the same resolution year after year and constantly starting over, I have a helpful hint for you: STOP GIVING UP! While we’re at it, stop making excuses and coming up with ways of talking yourself out of completing your goals. Stop thinking about what you want to do and start doing it.
You can apply these principles to any goal. Want to get a new job? Beat the pavement and get your resumes out every day or get a certification to increase your skill set and qualifications. Want to learn how to play a musical instrument? Get lessons and practice every day. When people tell us we could do anything we set our minds to, they’re not just blowing smoke up our rear ends. They’re just leaving out the part where they explain that actually doing what we set our minds to is going to take hard work and sacrifice.
It’s not all grit and discipline, though. It’s important to stay focused and stay productive to reach a goal but it’s equally important to stop every now and then, take a look at how far we’ve come, and pat ourselves on the back. Progress is progress and the more you acknowledge it the less likely you are to get discouraged.
Whatever your resolution is this year, more power to you. I hope you stick to it and reach your goals. Now about that treadmill…