5 Tips to Move Resolutions to Reality
By Tracy Walker, Sr. Director of Marketing & Events at IT’S TIME TEXAS
I have to be honest, the ‘r’ word has haunted me for a very long time.
There have been years where I’ve set the bar so high that I was doomed from the get-go. I’d set some pretty steep New Year’s resolutions like quitting coffee consumption. Losing 15 lbs. Running my first 5k. Then there’s the age-old resolution I’ve yet to achieve, learning to play the violin. Well, let’s call that a life-long dream.
To tell the truth, I think I quit coffee for like four days.
The 5k, well, I still have yet to run one its entirety. And the 15 lbs, that’s still in progress and seems to carry over from year to year.
So, I finally quit setting resolutions.
Instead, I decided to set one goal for the year that I would earnestly work towards. I’d clearly define that goal and then break it down into smaller steps, mapping out how I would get there.
The bottom line to achieving any goal is finding what works for you and just doing it. While it’s going to be different for each of us, I thought I would share with you a few things that make it work for me. Here it goes!
1) Get a Partner
Don’t go it alone! No matter what your goal is, doing it with a friend or in a group is going to be more fun. I know when I go to my gym class, I can go at a time when my girlfriends can join me, and that keeps me accountable. Knowing that I have others around to support me sure makes it feel safe and comfortable, and ultimately something I look forward to.
Maybe it’s as simple as finding others at your workplace who might help you to leave on time in order to make a yoga class down the street. Joining a group helps me stay committed. It provides built-in support with people who have some of the same hopes and desires.
If joining a group is not your thing, confide in someone about your goal. I promise you, we’re not in this alone. And, it sure is helpful to know that we’re experiencing the same sort of challenges.
2) Be Reasonable
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I’m notorious for being unreasonable with myself by setting too large of a goal and then never attempting it.
Getting healthy is a pretty massive undertaking and can involve a major life change to boot.
Whether it’s making healthy eating choices or choosing to start some kind of physical activity, it can feel like you’re standing at the base of Mt. Everest staring up into the big blue yonder. It can leave you wondering how in the world will I ever climb this thing and what is the first step to take?
If it feels that way, rethink your goal. While you want a goal to be something to work towards you also want to be reasonable with yourself.
For year’s I wanted to learn how to figure skate. I’m not talking about being a weekend skater. I’m talking about Nancy Kerrigan kind of aspirations. For those of you old enough to know who she is, yes, I wanted to skate like the 1993 U.S. National Champion by year’s end. Well, I’m pretty sure training would need to have started back when I was five. Not happening.
Now at forty-something and many New Year’s resolutions later, I believe I need to rethink this. But, you get my drift.
Keep it realistic. If it’s starting a physical activity routine, it can be that simple. Start a physical activity routine. Try to keep it simple, maybe plan to go for a 15-minute walk three times a week. When you conquer that, increase your time a little.
We can do this!
3) Break it Down
I feel like we should sing the lyrics to a song here, don’t you? If it’s music that it takes, then, by all means, give me a beat!
No, in all seriousness breaking down a big goal into small chunks is how it’s going to get done. It’s like cleaning the entire house. It’s overwhelming to think about cleaning the kids’ rooms and my bathroom alone. So, break it down into smaller action items. Try to incorporate something you’ll do to meet your goal every day. Smaller items are doable items.
Let’s take committing to meal prep for one meal a day, maybe for lunch. Commit to packing a healthy lunch. Or prepping your snacks ahead for the entire week. You’ll be more inclined to reach for the bag of nuts when you have them available.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator when you get to work. Do it every day. And bam, you’re already getting exercise added into your day. Buy carbonated flavored water instead of soda.
These small changes will all add up to a big change in the end, all for a better, healthier you.
4) Schedule Time for It
If you’re anything like me, juggling a job, a household, and activities here, there and everywhere, If it doesn’t make it onto my schedule, it’s not happening.
We live in an overscheduled world that is for sure. But the way I look at it, if my health is not good, I’m no good to my kids or my family. So it’s up to me to put my health first. I’m talking about thirty minutes a day. It’s a choice. They say, if you want to know what’s important to someone, look at their schedule.
Ouch. I need to listen to my own words.
5) Review & Reflect
Oh, how I love a reward!
Reward yourself along the way. At the quarter or halfway mark, set aside time to contemplate how far you’ve come and what adjustments you may need to make in order to get closer to your goal.
Evaluate what’s working and what’s not working. This is not a time to beat yourself up at all. None of that you hear! Focus on what matters, celebrate small successes, and reward yourself for taking small steps.
Adjust what you need to and keep going! Change won’t happen overnight so be patient. But small changes will bring new results that will change your reality.
If you could use a little extra help reaching your goals or finding what works for you (and who couldn’t?), our free Living Healthier coaching hotline is just a phone call away.
Tracy is a beagle mom and the IT’S TIME TEXAS Marketing Director. She’s a blogger at Blogbytracy.com and a someday violinist who loves to teach STEP fitness classes.