Have you done it yet? You know what I’m talking about. It’s January 2st. Time for the “new year, new you” resolutions.
You know the ones. The list usually starts with going to the gym every day.
Followed by eating healthier.
And of course we’re going to drink less too.
And there a whole host of other resolutions that pertain to every facet of our lives: pray more, don’t yell at the kids so much, be kinder to your spouse, etc, etc, etc.
But you know what? You don’t need a new you. The old you wasn’t half bad. It was actually pretty darn good, some parts bordering on great! So maybe you have a few areas that could use some improvement. But you don’t need to change everything right now. The goal isn’t be your “ideal you” by January 31st. It’s to be able to look back on December 31st and say, “wow, look how far I’ve come!”
It starts by writing down your goals:
Your list may look like this:
- Lose weight
- Read more
- Have more patience with my children
Those are the long term goals, the ones you’ll revisit on December 31st and see how far you’ve come.
You’ll first need to figure out the best ways to achieve your goals. Maybe you inner monologue goes something like this:
Losing weight requires me to get more exercise and eat healthier. Getting more exercise means I need to go the gym everyday and be more active when at home or work. Eating healthier means cutting back on junk food and eating more fresh foods. I should probably drink some more water too.
You’ll further refine this train of thought by making this more measurable and time frame specific, and making sure it’s realistic:
I know I won’t go to the gym everyday, but I can go two days per week for the month of January. If I can do that than I’ll try to add a third day in February and March. April is spring break so I know I won’t meet my goal that month but that’s okay. I’ll start again when the kids go back to school.
Time-frame specific – Just plan for the first month and then revise the plan for the next month.
Measurable: each week schedule yourself two appointments to workout. Give these appointments the same priority you would a doctors appointment. Don’t let anything other than seriously urgent matters interfere. Schedule less important things around them. Then check them off. By the end of the month you can see all of the workouts you’ve done!
Now tackle the second part of the equation – nutrition.
I’m going completely vegan/Whole 30/raw/Paleo. Right now. I don’t care if my family will riot. I’ll just cook two entirely different meals every day. It won’t be that hard.
Realistic – I know I need more protein and vegetables in my diet. Right now I’ll just make sure I have a colorful green salad (spinach, peppers, shredded carrots, cucumbers, etc) and some chicken, salmon, tuna, legumes, eggs, etc. for lunch each day. And it will be a big salad with a sizable portion of protein because I’m exercising and I need to eat well. And fast food only two meals a week. And Starbucks only on Fridays.
Time-frame specific – I’ll work on this for the month of January. When I’ve been able to do this successfully for a few weeks, I’ll look at trying to cook one vegan or vegetarian meal a week.
Measurable – write these meals on a calendar and check them off!
This same method can be used for other goals as well – make a list of books you want to read and assign a month to them. Schedule 15 minutes to pray, giving the same priority you give other matters. (If you figure out how to stop yelling at your kids, let me know!)
Before you know it, you’ve landed on the moon!