I always say that I hate New Year’s Resolutions, but yet every year I find myself setting goals for the new year. Sometimes I feel like I’m being hypocritical because what’s the difference really? But to me, I think New Year’s resolutions are the lofty goals people set for themselves without a real action plan to back it up. Oftentimes they come as a whole list of things someone wants to change about themselves, but they just aren’t realistic.
When I was younger (probably teen years), I used to make these long lists of everything that I wanted to achieve in the new year, and it often looked something like this:
- Lose weight
- Be more outgoing
- Do more nice things for people
- Save money
And while these are all good goals, they’re all very lofty, and they’re not SMART. (SMART goals, if you are unfamiliar, are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely-or have a set time constraint.) When I would try and do all the things on my list, I’d follow the path that most people tend to follow, and I’d only make it a few weeks before I became burned out! I was always trying to do too much, and my heart just really wasn’t in it. Making a real change in habit takes a lot of work and a game plan. That’s where goals come in…
I started to realize that I just couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do all at once and be successful, so at the end of every year, I start to look back on the year that’s coming to a close and think about all the things I did that I was proud of, and what things I could really work on. I come up with a big list, and then I think about what I would have to do to make each one happen. Oftentimes, the work I’d have to do just doesn’t seem worth it for what I’d be gaining-at least not at this moment. In this way, I whittle away all the wishful goals and get down into the things I really want to and am able to make happen.
This year I had several ideas float around like getting back into running, getting back into photography, learning a new language, etc. but I decided to focus on eating better and moving more. Obviously those aren’t very SMART goals, so what does each one look like written as a SMART goal?
Eating Better-I am going to follow the Whole30 eating plan for 60 days followed by a slow reintroduction of the foods eliminated to determine how certain foods affect my body. After the 60 days are up, I am going to follow a mostly Paleo diet consisting of whole, unprocessed foods. I will allow myself to indulge in “worth it” foods on occasion as long as they are completely worth it and/or for a special occasion and don’t happen too often (probably more than once a week).
Moving More-I am going to make sure to get at least 10 minutes of activity every day. It doesn’t matter what the activity is as long as it gets me moving for at least 10 minutes a day. My activity focus is going to be on more of the things I already know I enjoy like dancing, Pilates, and yoga instead of trying to make myself do things I know I don’t like such as running and lifting. I am starting by completing the Blogilates beginners’ workout calendar and then moving on to her more challenging workouts.
So far I have been doing pretty well with my goals… sort of… I am on day 5 of my Whole60, and my energy is starting to go up. My cravings are starting to fade away too. Every once in a while I’ll get a huge craving for something very specific (like the Diet Pepsi I was dying to have on my ride home from work tonight!), but I just distract myself or drink some water, and it usually goes away within a couple minutes. I have been pretty sick since December 30, so I had some medicine that wasn’t technically compliant, and I had been sucking on cough drops for the past 3 days. I really tried to hold out as long as I could, but the remedies I’ve seen out there that are compliant didn’t really do much. I was feeling so crappy that I just decided it was worth it to me to have a few cough drops. Technically compliant? No, but I honestly don’t care when I’m that sick.
As far as the workouts are going? Well, that’s another story… Again because I was so sick, I had zero energy. I took a shower on Saturday morning, and I was so exhausted by the end of my 15 minute shower that I had to lay on the floor for a few minutes before I could towel off. Then when I finally managed to get enough energy to get my towel and get out of the bathroom, I had to lay down on my bed for about 20 minutes to fully recover. Needless to say, a workout wasn’t going to happen! I did manage to get one in today, and I’m already feeling it!
The biggest thing that is going to help me achieve my goals is planning ahead. I am most successful with sticking to my goals when I think them through ahead of time. I have been scheduling my workouts and sitting down every week to create a meal plan. For the meal plans, I make sure to incorporate dishes I can make more easily as well as backup dinners in case something comes up and I can’t stick to my plan.
So anyway, those are my goals for the new year, and I plan to make them happen. What are some of yours? How are you making sure you are successful?