What is the most common question you get asked going into a new year? For most people, it’s usually along the lines of “What are your New Year’s resolutions?”. It’s a common tradition passed on through the years that people use the “new year” as a starting point for their new goals and lifestyle practices. Why wait until New Year when you can start now?
If you put your goals off until the new year, you have to ask yourself how much of a priority they were for you in the first place? Are you using the holidays as an excuse to binge and fall further behind on your goal before you face it head-on in January?
Let’s say you make a set of resolutions going into the next year. You are really consistent and on top of all of your goals for a month or maybe even more! Inevitably, life gets in the way and excuses start coming up and you begin to lose the motivation you once had to stay consistent with your resolutions. Then, eventually, there are too many “reasons” as to why your goals are not your priority anymore, and pretty soon you are no longer progressing on these goals at all.
But, wait! At this point, it’s almost January again! You can just start your resolutions again next year! This is going to be the year you actually accomplish your goals!
And again, the cycle starts right back over.
If this cycle sounds familiar to you, I challenge you to ask yourself, “Why am I waiting to start my goals?”
Whatever it is that you may want to introduce in your life, it can always be started now. Do you want to start exercising more? Join the gym today. If you are already paying for it, why wouldn’t you go? Do you want to eat healthier? Throw out the junk food! Out of sight, out of mind. With little to no junk food in the house, you will have to force yourself to be creative and make healthier meals using the more nutritious items you might already have or that you purchase to help yourself accomplish your goal!
It’s important to remember that baby steps are better than no steps at all. Sometimes life really does get in the way, but it rarely ever completely prevents you from doing what you want to do. Even when things seem to be difficult and you start to lose motivation, try and take a step back and decide how you can accomplish this goal now!
For example, maybe you were going to the gym 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day. Something happens and now you are unable to commit to going as frequently as you were before.
Instead of using this as an excuse to just stop, take a step back and ask yourself how much you can reasonably commit to right now. Can you find 2 days in the week that you can spare 30 minutes to devote to exercising? Maybe even 3? Working out 2-3 days isn’t as often as 5, but it’s definitely better than 0. Just by setting aside this 1 hour out of your whole week, you just saved yourself from potentially giving up on your goal completely.
In addition to this, it is also important to set reasonable goals in the first place. If you try and set resolutions that you know you are not able to commit to 100%, you are setting yourself up to fail and who would want to do that? Instead of telling yourself, you are going to lose 100 pounds this year, knowing you are not the type of person who has hours and hours to commit to the gym each week, start smaller by trying to lose 20 pounds in 6 months. If you find that you really are consistent and on track, then think about raising it to 30 or 35 pounds in that 6-month time frame.
Not only will this be healthier for your body, but it will also be healthier for your mind. Pacing yourself and setting realistic standards for yourself can drastically change your attitude when going into a goal! Plus, an added benefit is that if you are able to easily crush each smaller goal, it won’t feel like it was such a struggle to get to the bigger one! We get more out of life when we keep the commitments we make to ourselves.
As Hillel, the Elder once said, “If not now, when?” I challenge you to start those New Year’s Resolutions today.