Writer / Kate Rhoten
Last month, I purposely did not write about resolutions. Did you make a resolution before New Year’s? It’s early February and it is OK to start your resolution now.
According to a list compiled by Newsday, the most common resolutions in 2015 were:
1. Lose weight/exercise more
2. Quit smoking
3. Eat Healthy
4. Learn something new
5. Spend less, save more
6. Drink less alcohol
8. Give back to the community
9. Spend more time with family
Did you select a similar resolution? How are you doing? Are you doing it alone? If so that makes it more challenging to keep the resolution. I have found it is best to find someone to join me in the resolution to keep me honest.
Inviting your spouse, friend or co-worker can help with accountability. This individual can help with getting to the gym, support efforts to reduce smoking, or help review a budget to reduce unnecessary expenditures.
It is important to be realistic with your expectations. This includes the initial decision to make the specific resolution. Some thought should go into the what, how, when and why? We will use the first resolution as our example.
The ‘what’ is easy on a broad level. But it is important to narrow the focus. Specificity is key. If you are exercising, what are the one or two areas you want to improve or is there a running distance you are trying to achieve? Goals should be measurable; you must have a method to gauge your progress.
‘How’ is the next consideration. For example, for some people joining a gym may be the solution to losing weight. Before committing to a membership, be sure the classes and equipment matches exercises you would like to try. Ask for a trial membership. Many places provide a trial period. It’s hard enough to find the right environment, let’s not throw money away unnecessarily. Local churches and schools have facilities and programs for the community as well.
Your personal schedule should also be considered. How busy is your life? Between work and home, do you have time to stop somewhere to work out? ‘When’ can be hard to narrow down if you feel overwhelmed with your existing schedule.
‘Why’ are you doing it? This is the one word that we should be honest when answering. Are you doing it for yourself or for others? If you are doing it for yourself, you will find that you will continue to work out. It’s not wrong to do it for others, but you benefit first and foremost, family and friends secondary.
It is OK to falter and regroup. If your approach isn’t working, look for others. Check in with your accountability partner when you’re losing motivation. The accountability partner should help you regain your focus or help find an alternate approach.
Resolutions don’t have to start at New Year’s; so don’t feel that you can’t start now. Better late than never, right?