It’s been a bit of time since New Years
and perhaps it’s time to rethink those resolutions. Most of us have probably cheated at least once and the rest of us never started in the first place. Just how good were your resolutions anyhow? Perhaps you should think about making some new ones that you’ll have better luck with.
A Real Goal
The first trick to a successful resolution is to set up your goals in a way that ensures you’ll actually know when you’re doing well. That is, your goals need to be something you can measure. If you say your goal is to “exercise more” this year, it sounds good but how do you know if you really did it or not? Does taking one flight of stairs count or do you have to run three miles every day? It’s not very clear and in order to be truly effective your goals should be obvious enough that you can check them off every day.
For example, instead of saying you’re going to “exercise more”, you can say you’re going to work-out for thirty minutes five days of the week. You can get even more specific by stating a target heart rate and a workout intensity, but just stating that you’re going to do thirty minutes of exercise five days a week is already more manageable than just a vague “exercise more.” Now you can walk when you get home from school. You can run on the treadmill. You can bike with friends. It all counts so long as you do it for thirty minutes per day Monday through Friday.
We’d all love to grow or shrink a few inches in height probably, but you just can’t do that. It’s impossible to control your height and there are some resolutions that are just as impossible to sort through as growing three inches taller. You’ll be setting yourself up for failure if you resolve to never talk to a family member again. Or if you plan to lose 50 pounds but you only weight 140 right now.
Goals must be realistic if you’re going have any luck achieving them. That doesn’t mean you can’t stretch yourself and try something outside of your comfort zone. In fact, you should push yourself hard to achieve things. But don’t give yourself something so outlandish that you’re physically or emotionally incapable of making the goal.
For example, if your parents are going through a divorce and your life is beyond stressful, this may not be the best time to lose weight if you’re naturally a stressful eater. Instead you may choose to eat healthier foods or take up a new hobby that will help you deal with the pain of your personal life.
Meditation daily or journaling every evening before bed might be a more realistic resolution for a turbulent lifestyle. But then, for those of us who need a healthy goal to focus on in the midst of a storm, losing weight might be a great way to stay grounded. You’ll have to know yourself well enough to figure out what a good goal may be for you personally.