Tomorrow is January 1st. Do you know what that means? Yep, New Year’s Resolutions. Tomorrow at the crack of dawn, I will step outside for a nice healthy walk. I will see all sorts of people doing the same thing. A week later, I will still be out there walking, not that I want to, but because I just told you I will be, and that will provide me with the accountability that I will need, to get my carcass out of bed. So thanks you guys, I guess.
Come February 1st., I will still be out there, at the crack of dawn, walking. It will be much lonelier out there, a lot less people. Why? Because most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January.
I’m no exception. In fact, I can only remember successfully completing one resolution…ever. It was to read the Bible in a year, and honestly, I felt pretty good about my achievement. So why then have all of my other New Year’s Resolutions failed? This week I have been thinking a lot about it, and I have come up with a list of the top four reasons why we often fall short of accomplishing our New Year’s Resolutions.
My Resolutions Were Too Vague
“I want to lose weight” or “I want to save more money this year.” These are two examples of my past New Year’s Resolutions. I’m not exactly sure how I expected to succeed when I didn’t even know exactly what I was trying to accomplish. I didn’t even have a specific goal.
I Didn’t Have A Plan
It’s one thing to know what your New Year’s Resolution is going to be. It’s an entirely different to thing to actually have a plan for achieving success with it. I often failed to ask myself how I was going to lose weight, or how many pounds I wanted to lose or how I wanted to keep it off. When it came to saving money, I had no plan on how I was going to do it.
All Or None Thinking
This is the number one reason why I have failed at pretty much every New Year’s Resolution I have ever made. All or none thinking is rooted in my OCD brain and it is self fulfilling prophesy that if I slip up just one time I will surely fail. For example, if I was on a diet, and I cheated, I would consider myself a failure and then all was lost. My mentality was “what’s the point of continuing” and I would give up.
Lack Of Accountability
In the past, I have kept my New Year’s Resolutions to myself or maybe I told my wife, which doesn’t provide all that much pressure, considering I break my promises to her on a daily basis. I know, Brian is a bad boy, but it’s true, I forget to do honey dos or chores pretty much every single day.
Without accountability the only thing standing between me and success is desire, and let me tell you, at 5:00 a.m. I have only one desire: less walking, more sleeping!
So I’m Gonna Give Up Making New Year’s Resolutions
But that doesn’t mean that I’m giving up all together. Nope, I’ve decided that I’m going to replace my New Year’s resolutions with GOALS. Before you say “Oh, well, that’s just semantics Brian”, goals are different from my past New Year’s Resolutions. Here is how:
Goals are Specific
In football, the goal is a line that you have to cross in order to score a touchdown. When you get the ball you know exactly how far you have to go in order to score. The cool thing about setting goals vs. making New Year’s Resolutions is that you know exactly how far you have to go or how much you have to do in order to reach your goal.
My Goals Will Require That I Have A Specific Plan
This is super important. Setting a goal without a specific plan is like going to get a week’s worth of groceries without a list or even a menu. Now, I have actually done this before and I’m sure you have too. You just go to the store, look around and see what looks good to you and you then build your menu and list based on your cravings.
The only problem is all week long you realize that you no longer want to eat homemade pizza or you don’t have time to make that turkey pot pie. You realize that you forgot half of the ingredients for your minestrone and you remember that your kids hate anything spicy. Worst of all, you forgot that you purchased Salmon until your nose reminded you an the fourth day. Nope, shopping by the seat of my pants always ends in failure, and setting goals or making New Year’s Resolutions without a specific plan usually end up the same way.
Goals Allow For Resets
Sometimes you accomplish your goal in less time than you thought you would. Sometimes something unexpected comes up that causes you to have to reset your time frame. For example: Let’s say that you signed up for your first 5K that will take place in three months. You set a goal of completing it in 30 minutes, which is totally doable. Everything is going great until you twist your ankle six weeks before the race.
Now, you have a choice. Do you pull out of the 5K and feel like a failure? Or, do you take the time off to heal and then walk the 5K. Which choice will make you feel like a champion? Quitting? Or overcoming adversity. In the past, because of my OCD, I would just quit. Perfection was missed, so what’s the point, even if it wasn’t necessarily my fault. By allowing myself to reset my goals, hopefully, I will have the courage to keep plugging away.
Goals Require Accountability
I love my wife, but she makes a lousy accountability partner. It’s not her fault though. She loves me too much to be stern when she has to. She tries to hold my feet to the fire, but she just hates the drama that I create when she does. So, my self admitted conflict avoider wife isn’t quite tough enough when it comes to being an accountability partner.
I’m not self motivated enough to push myself either. I wish I was, but I’m not. At 5:00 a.m., when the alarm goes off and I need to get up and exercise, my desire to lose weight and feel better just doesn’t have the power to pull my lazy arse out of bed. There is one thing that motivates me though, or rather there are six things that have the power to motivate me. My kids.
Being around to see them grow up is the most powerful motivation that I can think of. They are the reason that when I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes I decided to do something about it instead of wallowing in the bottom of a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Sutra.
Back To Walking
Why am I so sure that I will still be out there walking at the crack of dawn come February and March etc? Simple! I will have set goals that are specific. I will have a plan for success. My goals will be flexible, and most of all. My goals will be centered on making sure that I will be able watch my kids grow up.
How about you? Do you have goals or resolutions for 2019? I’d love to hear them! What are your strategies for success? Let’s hold each other accountable and make amazing things happen!
The good thing about goals is that you can make them any time of the year. In September, I began making serious changes to my eating habits in order to lower my Cholesterol, Triglyceride and Hemoglobin A1C levels. Next week, I will be visiting with my Dr. to review my latest lab results. Cross your fingers for me. I will update you on my progress as soon as I have those results. For now, the one measurable that I can monitor is my weight. I am down 12 lbs. Yippee! I will be posting my results in my Friday newsletter in two weeks. If you want to see them you will need to subscribe to my newsletter.
I also plan on creating a downloadable goal setting worksheet very soon. It be available for free to my newsletter subscribers.
I hope you had a great 2018 and you’ll have an even better 2019!
Brian at Daddy Go To Timeout!