I have learned over the last couple years that the best resolutions to make for every new year is to make no resolutions at all. Seriously!… Because so many people have a tendency to create unrealistic goals for themselves, feel an overwhelming sense of guilt when a resolution is not met, and give up within a couple of weeks of the new year. So what about all the other goals that one sets during the year that are actually reached? How did that happen? Because, likely, there was no pressure of the new year, or marketing ploys to make certain resolutions. An example being – “I’m going to lose 17lbs” or “I’m going to exercise 4 days a week at 3pm” or “I’m going to run everyday this winter.” Why do we set these types of resolutions? They fail us every time and make us feel like garbage, waiting around for the next “reset” day or month or year.
So. If you must make any resolutions at all, here are 3 resolutions to make for 2017 instead of the typical kind of the past….put those to rest and focus on these which can be for any one, athlete or not….
3. Smile More
Why do we wake up in the morning hating the day so much? We might open the door for someone but not look them in the eye. We might even look over people at work or the grocery store not even noticing they are there. What if we smiled more? Not only just with family and friends but to everyone random as well. It’s amazing how much better a person feels just by smiling a handful of times more during the day. Try it. And for the new year, athletes, smile with and at your competitors; embrace their kindness and use it to fuel your race. I know it seems silly, but smiling can truly impact performance and keep stress under control. And this resolution – there are no strings attached; no time frames; no limits; no numbers to reach – just SMILE! The benefits are huge.
2. Love Your Body
Majority of resolutions are the complete opposite of this….you have to change your pants size, hip size, weight, and eat things that birds eat. Stop. You are bullying yourself and when you don’t love your body, you will never achieve greatness – it’s a perpetual downward spiral into the depths of the ‘I hate myself’ rabbit hole. How about, just tell yourself for this new year, “I’m going to love my body and all it does for me” from digestion, movement, recovery, and everything else we take for granted. Stop shaming and start accepting you as you are and for what you can do. Set the goal to tell yourself everyday how lovely you really are and stopping yourself when any flaw comes to mind. It works and is an amazing resolution.
1. Be Proud of Your Efforts
This one is my absolute favorite resolution of all. Be proud of ALL you do whether it’s at work, school, or athletics. This hits home for me because I don’t do it well. It’s the perfect resolution for a perfectionist that wants to do so well for everyone else. Starting to do things for myself and being proud of what I can do, versus what others expect or do themselves, is so important. Being proud of my efforts in running for example means smiling across the finish line whether I won or placed 70th. Being proud of my efforts means being okay with a DNF if that means it was the best decision for me. Being proud of my efforts means I might fail and I might succeed, but either way I did my best. This can be applied to really everything in life and I find it to be such a powerful resolution with no limits whatsoever.
I know they say to make SMART goals, but keep those for at work. In life, and for 2017, focus on goals and new years resolutions that are open, flexible, and limitless. With that comes positivity, progress, and strength in all your do. It’s a process and never short-lived. Embrace the process starting now for a better 2017.
Blog author: Annie Weiss, MS RD; ultra-endurance athlete and dietitian living and training in Milwaukee, WI. She is a sponsored athlete/ambassador for AltraRunning, Swiftwick Socks, The OrangeMud, and Fluid Nutrition. Follow her training/racing on Twitter & Instagram: ani_weiss and Facebook: Ani Weiss.