Post by: Annie Weiss.
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 pounds,” or “I’m going to stop biting my nails,” or whatever it may be. Have you changed the behavior? Or are you still repeating the exact same goal that you had last year? Or five years ago… Or ten… I am going to say, probably. So why are we continuing to repeat the same goal that history has proven we will not achieve?
I find New Year’s, 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 sell weight loss?!), and all of a sudden we set goals to be more financially savvy and nicer to other people. But here is my question: why can’t each day be a time for change?
This year, my New Year’s 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 responses are 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 weeks or even 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 or any time of 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 achieve 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 the goal 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.
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.