I admit...I am 100% cynical of new year's resolutions. And in my mind, rightfully so. How many of you made a resolution this year and have already given up on it? IT'S ONLY JANUARY 5TH PEOPLE!! The funny thing is, most people with start out the year completely gung ho about a goal and then drop off within the first month.
Why is this?
It's because people set nonspecific, long term goals. I've heard "my goal this year is to be healthy," or "to workout" or "to eat better." All of this sounds great in theory and I wish people would stick to these broad goals, but it is human nature to give up once we decide we aren't seeing results fast enough or we are already tired of eating the same thing or getting up early without results. We are a species that values instant gratification. Once hard work isn't paying off quick enough, we jump off the bandwagon like our life depended on it, because it is definitely easier than the alternative--committing to that hard working and *gasp* spending the time it takes to see results!
I am definitely guilty of setting the goal to be this or that and falling off the band wagon when I wasn't seeing the results I wanted. But I've learned--and I know this is going to sound obvious and you're probably thinking, well DUH lex--that when you want something, you have to commit to it, 100%, through the good, the bad and the ugly. Now this could be committing to a diet, to a workout, or even to a person. But you have to remember that ultimately whatever it is you are committing to, you can't just stop the second it gets hard, or boring, or you're just tired of the same food every day and want ice cream. That doesn't work and ultimately takes you further from your goal.
I decided back in November--I say it like it was so long ago--that I want to compete in a bikini competition this year (or maybe a few). I started dieting and lifting weights again. When the holidays came around I cheated on my diet BUT they were cheat meals, NOT cheat days. I didn't take the whole week of the holiday and binge and skip workouts. Yes i did have the sweets that I don't normally eat, and yes i did have a few drinks on new year's to celebrate, BUT the next day or even the next meal, I was back on track.
This is how resolutions SHOULD work. So you fall off the wagon for a meal or miss a workout--WHO CARES? As long as you get back on or hit the gym the next day, you are still on track to get to your ultimate goal. It is healthy to take a day off for rest and to have a cheat meal ONCE in a while. This is where people go wrong when it comes to resolutions. The thought process goes from "oh man I cheated and ate a sweet, this day is probably a waste so I guess I'll just binge all day" or "I missed a workout, now my whole week is messed up, I'll just take the week off." This mindset leads to--"well i've already stopped eating healthy or stopped going to the gym, I might as well forget it."
This mindset also comes from making goals that are too broad. If people set specific resolutions that gave them small goals to push to, then I think more people would stick to their resolutions. So maybe someone really wants to lose 40lbs this year. Well making a goal to lose 40lbs is great BUT unless someone gives themselves a timeline or smaller increments--like I want to lose 10lbs by the end of the month--then the 40lbs is going to seem completely unattainable.
By giving ourselves small milestones to reach for, it is much easier to stick to a long term goal, and hell, who knows, maybe we'll enough the process.
I've made several resolutions for this year, all of which are ultimately longer term goals, but i've broken them up into smaller milestones to reach to keep myself on track. Obviously bikini competition is a huge goal for me. But I have a daily goal of eating a certain amount of protein, and consuming certain healthy meals. I have a daily goal of training a certain body part or kicking my cardio up a notch. These smaller goals have led to some bigger results so far. By not focusing so much on the end goal, but always keeping it in mind, my bigger goals seems less daunting and more easily attainable.
I hope you all have made resolutions or goals for this year and that you decide to stick to them. That's all it really is anyway--a decision to commit. Just remember that committing, I mean REALLY committing, is for the long haul--through the good, the bad, the bored, and the ugly (i know I'm not particularly pretty at 5am but i'm still getting up). It's your life, decide to do with it what you will, but if there is something you REALLY want, don't let it be just another resolution that gets lost after a month. Make it a lifestyle change or a daily challenge to keep yourself interested and motivated. And I'll definitely be here to support you through whatever your goals might be.
SO let's hear it, what are your resolutions?