There is a lot of debate about whether or not new years resolutions work or are all doomed to fail. The truth is they’re more about how and what resolution you set then the day of the year, just like any other goal setting. So if you are planning on making a resolution or setting goals for 2019 I want to give you some tips to help you smash them!!
Tip One: Action not Outcome
When making a resolution always make it something you have actual control over. You want a resolution that is an action you are taking not an outcome, that at the end of the day, you can't control. For instance don't make the resolution of “I’m going to lose 10lbs,” which is a outcome. Instead say “I am going to go to the gym twice a week.” One is something you can take action on, the other is a hoped for outcome. Don't make the resolution of “get promoted.” Instead go with “I'm going take a leadership role at least once a month.” Do you see the difference? We want to focus on the work required not on the prize. That way we keep it within our control.
Tip Two: Be Honest with Yourself
We all want to be the best versions of ourselves but setting goals too far up in the clouds will only send you hurtling back down to earth at a painful speed. Be honest with yourself, if the goal is too hard look for a smaller step in the same direction. Smoke two packs a day? Going cold turkey is probably not realistic. How about we focus on only 3 cigarettes a day to start, or maybe we only buy one pack a week and when we run out we are out till next week. Your resolution doesn't have to be about making you a perfect person, just a small nudge into improving yourself, your enjoyment, and your quality of life. This is also important when we are talking about time and money, if you don’t have enough don’t make goals that rely on it.
Tip Three: Be Selfish
If your’re going to make real change, at the end of the day, it has to be for you. Say your mom wants you to lose weight, or your partner wants you to give up smoking. Even if you know these things are going to be good for you doing it for other people is doing it for the wrong reason. It's going to be very hard to keep motivated and make the effort day in and day out if you’re only doing it for someone else. At the same time there may be people who love you but are not thrilled with your new goals. You may be trying to improve your nutrition but have a partner who refuses to stop buying junk food. Or you’re trying to stop smoking but all of your friends smoke and just make fun of you for trying to stop, “see how long that'll last.” At the end of the day you can only control yourself and your goals. Know that you are doing whats best for you, stay focused, and let everything else roll off your back.
Tip Four: Add Don't Subtract
When looking to make changes focus on adding things you enjoy to your life rather then taking away stuff that is “bad.” It's going to be a lot easier to go to a dance class you enjoy then to NOT eat ice cream you also enjoy. Now this is hard with something like quit smoking, and I don't recommend replacing a bad habit or “treating” yourself for doing good. But you can focus on what is added to your life by making positive changes. Do you feel better? Maybe put the money you would spend on cigarettes into a piggy bank. The point is to stay focused on the positive, and abundance, not on lack and scarcity.
I’m going to leave you with the story of my 2019 goals and the fact that following my own advice was not easy. I had originally set shiny pretty goals for myself for the coming year. I had things including: Win an open middle weight strongman competition, give a panel talk about fitness at a comic/nerd convention, go and visit friends I haven’t seen in a while. I was really happy with those goals, they were fun, and shiny, and great things to do in the coming year. Then I started to write this blog, I used all of the knowledge and information on goal setting, programming, habit building and human behavior I have learned being a personal trainer. Then I looked back at my own list of happy shiny goals and realized I had not taken any of my own advice, and I felt totally ashamed.
So I went back and started to rewrite my goals. First thing was they broke rule one. They were results not actions. So instead of “win a competition” I put down that I would compete at least twice and get a pro strongman coach to help me. There problem solved…except now it broke rule two, Be Honest. I work all the time and have my own growing business, I am not a hundred percent sure I can do any of that, and finding the time and money is not something that is truly in my control. It was at this point I closed the laptop I was working on, tossed the notebook I was working with in the corner, and walked away in a huff.
It took me a few days of back and forth before I came up with well structured goals: Work on full, comprehensive training programs for myself and track ALL of my food. Write and pitch a panel to at least one convention. Make sure to check in with friends I don’t want to lose touch with at least once a week. All of my goals now fit within the rules, they are all accomplishable if I put the time and effort in. They are also not at all shiny. I have to admit I was a little heart broken at first, instead of a list of great things to look forward to, like a childs list to Santa, all I had was a list of work to do…like a fucking adult. But here’s the thing, it’s not even New Years yet and I’ve already started chipping away at my goals because I can. And while there is no guarantee I will get to the shiny prizes on my original list, I am a hella of a lot closer now that I have a comprehensive list of work I can do right now.
I hope these tips can help you set some New Years resolutions or any goals going forward.
For the month of January we are offering a free week of Superhero Training, which includes one free Field Training class, one free Mission class, one free open gym day, and one free Personal Training session. If you do have health or fitness related resolutions come in and let us help you get there this year. Happy New Years Heroes and lets all have a fabulous 2019