Resolution Confusion: the only survival tip you’ll ever need

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Photo by Biscarotte

It’s that time of year again!  Time for making resolutions.  Some resolve to drink less. Some resolve to get in shape and lose weight. Others resolve to manage stress. However statistics indicate that only 64% will keep going after one month and after six months less than half of those resolutions will survive.

Personally, I’ve been there. I’ve made a resolution and then, have lost track of it (my fancy way of saying I stopped thinking about it).   A few years ago I gave up making New Year’s resolutions because I recognized my process for change.

I like to think of myself as a person who embraces change; but the truth of the matter is that I embrace change that I can control.  Yes, I’ve been called a control freak but I am sure that I am not the only person who prefers to direct than follow.  So upon recognizing and embracing my process for change, I stopped making New Year’s resolutions and opted for mini-resolutions.

Instead of making a general resolution to just lose weight and get in shape break it down to more manageable specific goals. For instance, this year my resolutions –err goals are as follows:

January – March 2011

  • Exercise: Sign up for 2 half marathons and 1 5k for 2011
    • Begin running 3 days a week (make schedule on runnersworld.com)
  • Diet: Increase vegetable intake at dinner and enjoy 1 glass of wine 2 nights a week

April – June 2011 continuation of goals from before plus

  • Exercise: Add core exercises, 2 days a week (only 20 minutes perhaps after run days?)
    • Note: 1st half marathon in May
  • Diet: Try to drink more water! Start with one glass at each meal or snack.

July – September 2011 continuation of goals from before plus

  • Exercise: Hike 2 Sundays a month
  • Diet: Eat fruit with breakfast and afternoon snack

October – December 2011 continuation of goals from before plus

  • Exercise: Swap core exercises with yoga (at least 40 minutes of yoga)
    • Note: 2nd half marathon and 5k in October
  • Diet: Is half my plate full of vegetables?

There are tons of articles on how to keep your resolutions; however, Lynne Brodie of Carnelian Coaching in Ashburn, VA states in WebMD’s article In One Year, Out The Other, “Resolutions are all about taking something away from someone…if people framed it differently and made it more of a positive experience, then it would be easier for people to keep resolutions, and psychologically it would make them feel a lot better about themselves.”

My mini-goals above appear daunting but when 2011 is over I should have reached my overall goal to get in shape. Getting in shape will be a byproduct of all the mini-goals I have set for myself which revolve around the two half marathons and one short event I plan to run this year. Most importantly I will have built a strong foundation that will support long term habits.

So instead of setting a general all-encompassing resolution for 2011, break it down and set mini-goals.  Setting mini-goals will be easier to manage and when 2011 comes to an end you just might find you’ve surpassed your own expectations!

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Comments

  1. 2 glasses of wine a week? Hmmmm….what if you have a vacation in those months?

  2. If you need to you can always adjust your goal during your vacation. Setting a limit ahead of time will help you be more aware of the amount of calories you are consuming and thus lead to a lower consumption.

  3. Thanks, I like the idea of planning things throughout the year. I also usually plan on frontloading additional exercise before a trip and try to plan walking to as many destinations as possible during the trip. I am planning a 10K walk in May, a 5K walk in July and a 5K walk in October. I have never timed those walks before, but I think I will start doing that and make sure I invite all of my friends and family to join me in those walks. That will just make it more fun and ensure that I make these annual events.