It’s almost that time of the year, again. People will be making plans for the arrival of the new year. Many will be planning parties, attending parties and just spending time with that special someone. But after the clock strikes twelve and that glorious ball has been dropped in Times Square, people will be making more plans, plans on how they are going to change their lives for the better.
We all go through this every year. Out with the old. In with the new. A time to better our lives and ourselves.
How-to books will be flying off the shelves. Exercise clubs will be adding more memberships. People will be buying vitamins, exercise gear from machinery to clothes, and not to mention every possible diet book on the market.
But what happens? Year after year. We make the lists, we make the promises, we set those goals and then what do we do? We usually fail.
Maybe it is time we take a different approach. Maybe it is time we make a resolution to change the way we make resolutions?
Sounds difficult? Sounds weird? Maybe it can even sound like a possible way to achieve what we want?
First, we should start making the lists. But don’t write resolutions at the top of the page in big, bold letters. Resolutions is a nice word. But it is also an intimidating word. Lets call it something more simple, like a list of wishes. We all like wishes.
Next we have to start wording our wishes differently. For example, what is most everybody’s biggest wish; to loose weight or to get into better shape. Don’t write down that you want to loose twenty pounds or exercise five times a week. That is a big wish. Bigger wishes are harder to attain.
Lets take that same wish and break it down into parts. It is more realistic to say you wish to loose three pounds by the end of the month. This is more attainable.
Now you need to start deciding how you can do this. You don’t want to cut anything out completely. If you do this, then you are bound to fail. Maybe you won’t fail in week one, but what about week three? If you think you drink too much soda or eat too many cookies, try saying you will only eat one or two cookies only every other day, not every day. Do the same with your limit of soda. Figure out how much you usually drink of it and lessen either the per day amount or weekly amount, which ever sounds more doable to you. By eating and drinking less of something you love, you are satisfying your craving, not depriving yourself, yet you are meeting your goals. Do this with all the things in your diet that is fattening or sugary. Little steps like this can help you achieve your goal, slowly.
Now do the same with your exercise goal. Exercising five days a week is ideal. But not every week can we all do this. Life gets busy. So say you wish to exercise three days a week. And on the days you can’t give exercise a full half hour, try to walk more, skipping that elevator for stairs. Little steps like this is better than doing nothing at all.
Remember to set your three days a week goals, realistically, too. If you haven’t exercised in a while, you can’t immediately do a full half hour of aerobics or a full session on the treadmill. Break it down into parts, too. Say week one your will spend X amount of time of the treadmill and do X amount of aerobics. Again, by setting realistic goals that your body can handle you are more apt to still being doing it by the end of the week. As you meet each weekly goal, you can slowly add more time or more exercises to your routine.
You can take this same principal to the wish of being more organized. Try figuring out small daily steps you can do that will help. For example, immediately go through the mail when it enters your house. Throw away the junk mail right then. Put the bills in a spot made just for them, until you can give them your proper attention. This small step will count by the end of the week.
After deciding small daily steps you can make to better organize your life, you can then come up with weekly steps that will further your cause.
Do this with each of your wishes. Break down the goals into small, smaller and even the smallest steps.
Also give yourself rewards whenever you achieve a week or a months worth of small goals. Children work better under a reward system and so do adults. Just make sure that your reward doesn’t interfere with your goals. You can’t reward yourself with food treats if your goal is too loose weight. Instead, reward yourself with a bubble bath, a manicure, a nap, etc.
Most of all, if you ever fail, if your bills get mixed up with the junk mail, if you eat three cookies instead of your wish of one, if you just don’t feel like exercising for a week, don’t berate yourself. We are humans. We are works in progress. Just start over the next day, the next hour or the next week. If we continue to follow a plan like this, by the beginning of next year we may have accomplished some of our use to be resolutions. Just imagine how proud we will feel then.