Every year I make New Year’s resolutions. And every year, I break them. As I reflected on that recently, asking myself why this is so, I realized that the answer is really quite simple. They are always unrealistic…too big, too much, too long. I set myself up to fail with them. Do you have this issue too?
So how can we solve this dilemma? I am a goal focused person. But one of the rules I forget about in my personal life sometimes is that your goals need to be measurable and attainable. And you need to break big goals down into smaller goals. I wasn’t doing that with my resolutions. It’s not bad to set a goal that’s challenging and a stretch…you just need the roadmap to get there.
So here is what I did. I decided to look at one thing I wanted to accomplish and then started breaking them up into smaller and smaller goals. The main thing I wanted to do was get healthier…see, that’s way too vague and a huge undertaking. I broke that down into exercise more, eat better, and do more self improvement. Again, too vague, too big. I then broke down each one.
Exercise: Since I was basically at ground zero, anything more than nothing was a step ahead! I wanted to walk 3 days a week for 20 min to start. I wanted to increase my movement every day. I bought a FitBit. I set daily goals for steps. When I hit them every day week one, I upped it for week 2. Now I’m on to week 3. The FitBit reminds me every hour to get up and move (I’m at a computer a lot and get focused and forget to get up). I track my exercise with my FitBit coach app. Notice I did not say I’m trying to do all the things on the FitBit coaching app – I’m not. I’m making baby steps to a healthier me and I feel like I am accomplishing something! By the way, you don’t have to invest in a FitBit. There are plenty of free apps to track just about everything and you can set alarms on your phone to tell yourself to get up and move.
Eating healthier is posing more of a problem. I love food. I love carbs. I decided to do a couple small things to start. First empty the fridge and pantry of all junk and processed food. Then my husband and I committed to buying more fruit and veggies and cut them up on weekends for the week, as well as buying better choices for grains. Both of us are usually too tired to cook during the week so we were eating out a lot. We signed up with a healthy meal delivery for 4 dinners/week. So far, so good. A less expensive choice would be to meal prep on weekends for the week. It’s a step in the right direction, though certainly not the end of the path.
And last, for self improvement, I committed to reading a positive affirmation every day to start the day on a positive note. It really helps especially on those dreary winter days.
That’s it! Baby steps that make me feel like I am doing something good for myself and progressing forward instead of staying in place. Happy New Year!