“…And the best time to change is not tomorrow.” Jenni Schaefer
How many times in your life, around the new year of course, have you said to yourself, “Yep! This is the year I’m going to lose those ten lbs.” Or “I’m going to stop biting my nails.” Or Whatever it may be. Have you changed the behavior? Are you still repeating the exact same goal that you had last year or 5…10 years ago but with more confidence than before? I am going to say, probably. So why then are we continuing to repeat the same goal that history has proven we will not achieve?
I find new years, and the unobtainable resolutions that go with this holiday, to be right up there with other fashionable holiday trends. We get caught up in it. All of a sudden gym memberships are half off, weight loss programs are on sale (can you really ‘sale’ weight loss?!), and we all of a sudden set goals to be more financially savvy and nicer to other people. But here is my question…Why cant each day be a time for change?
This year, my new years resolution is simply to stop making resolutions. It is certainly good to want to change for the better on January 1st…but what about May 12th…October 26th…June 9th?? My point is that each moment is a time for positive change, not just at the beginning of the year. For example, I get an influx of clients around this time and my first question to them is … why didn’t you contact me before the holiday season? Their response is priceless! They simply conform to what the media and society have told them to do…binge eat during the holidays and reset January 1. Unfortunately, we make these resolutions to ourselves and they are broken within days. Making real change involves behavior change…it involves action. If you want to run 100 miles or do an Ironman what is the action to get there? Set the goal. Take action. Sadly, with weight goals, that involves far more…and far from fad diets and gym memberships. I’ll get off my soap box now 🙂
A few things to remember when setting resolutions and goals for the new year…Don’t put absolutes on things. Using words in your goal like ‘never’ or ‘always’ or involving actions that limit, eliminate, or stop you, are not obtainable. Remember that a goal is only a concept until you put it into action. Set a plan. Set small goals to achieving the larger one. And really, if you set many small goals, you will achieve far more. The more specific the better! And finally, be flexible. Just because a goal is written down, or you joined a gym, or bought in to a silly weight loss program (yes, I’m biased as a dietitian!), does not mean that it cannot be changed. Life is about change and flexibility. Our goals need wiggle room to be modified – room to breathe and thrive – so we can ultimately achieve them. Each day is an opportunity for growth, goal setting, and goal achieving.
I’m sure you are all on the edge of your seat waiting to hear what my goals are for the upcoming racing year, right?! This past year, although so much has occurred in my life, was a great pre-2016 year. My goal for 2015 was to fall in love with running again and build up my training to get back to racing like I used to. Not so specific – I see that now. But I set small goals along the way that truly helped. And it happened. I’m back to loving my other job! I’m back to my running self and it did take a whole year to do. Many people to thank of course. I also achieved my small goal to reach the ambassadorship level…I am proud to say that I compete in Altra Running shoes/gear, Swiftwick Socks, and use Orange Mud to hydrate.
So for 2016, I am focusing my attention on racing. Sure, I can say I want to ‘win everything’ but that’s not specific or measurable. In order to race at optimum performance, I need to steer clear of injury. To do that, I need to follow my training plan, listen to my body, and rest hard. Focus on sleep, nutrition for my sport, and keeping my stress level down are also vital to my racing season. These are all things that take practice and things that I have been already working on this past year. I am dialing them in even more, but not getting crazy. I would LOVE to sleep 8 hours every night – but it’s not possible with only 24 hours in a day! Being realistic is key for me! I also want to continue my ambassadorships and create new partnerships as well…I have a dream to be on the Altra racing team! There are other running goals of course, but until then… 🙂 Remember, it’s awesome to have goals, but make sure they are obtainable with a plan in place. Why feel defeated when you don’t have to!
As you enter the new year, I do hope that you see it as an avenue for growth, but I also hope that everyday of the year can be an opportunity for change, growth, and reaching goals. Cheers!
Annie Weiss, MS RD at http://www.fitwithfoodconsulting.com
Twitter: @ani_weiss / Instagram: @ani_weiss