Sorry to burst your bubble, but what seems an exciting pronouncement on New Year’s Day likely will fizzle by Valentine’s Day. According to Business Insider, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions don’t make it out of January intact. The most popular resolutions last year were to Eat healthier (37%); Exercise more (37%); Save more money (37%); and to Focus on Self Care like getting more sleep (24%), according to Statista.com. I agree these are all worthy endeavors for just about anyone, including me, but I believe the folks who got it right are the 32% who say they don’t plan to make a New Year’s Resolution.
It all depends on why you make a resolution in the first place. You may be part of a group who has fun by throwing out a challenge at a cocktail party or placing a bet with a colleague or two. If it lifts your spirits, by all means, it is good for the soul. If, however, you really want to engage in new lifestyle habits that will produce real change, I would invite you to transform your resolution into a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Such a goal is Specific, Measurable, Aligned with your other goals, Realistic and Time oriented. Yes, give yourself a measurable goal with a deadline.
There are a couple more things I recommend.
First, get an accountability partner who cares enough about you to hold you accountable to your goal. This person should be asking you exactly what your plan is for achieving your loss of 35 pounds of lard you have accumulated over the past 35 months and why you think you can do this in 35 minutes without exercise or changing your nutritional habits. A helpful hint is to set a goal of weighing 150 pounds because this is simpler than saying you will lose 35 pounds. When you are on the 3rd mile on the treadmill, it is easier to remember 150 than calculating 185 minus 35 equals 150. Your accountability partner should also commit to checking in with you every week or two to discuss how things are going. Don’t expect it to be easy. You will have ups and downs.
Second, if your goal is really significant, pay someone to work with you. You can engage Life coaches for personal goals and Business Coaches for company goals. Check references to be sure they have taken others across the finish line you have set for yourself. These professionals can even work with you to develop a realistic and inspiring plan. You may find that “you don’t know what you don’t know” in your situation and the reason you need a coach is because they do this stuff all the time.
Finally, start with Why? This relates to my Who Cares? question. If you enjoy food and your current lifestyle, why do you want to change? If you can’t generate a good reason or two to go along with your SMART goal, drop it. Go to the Super Bowl party and focus on connecting with friends. Live your life on your own terms and smile when your friends abandon their resolutions. It is one less thing you have to worry about in 2019.