The new year is upon us, and many of us will be setting goals and resolutions for what they want to accomplish in 2019. For some, that’s losing that extra 10 (or 20, or 30) pounds, running a marathon, or even keeping a balanced chequebook! Making a New Year’s Resolution can be a great way to motivate yourself, to give that little push to get started, and to keep going when the going gets tough. Unfortunately, most of us set those goals unrealistically high, which then means that we feel depressed and like a “failure” when we don’t reach those heights of achievement. Instead, why not set yourself up for success?
What do I mean, setting yourself up for success? What I mean by that is being thoughtful about what you decide to do, and how you go about doing it, so that you are likely to be successful, rather than “biting off more than you can chew” and dropping out a month or so down the road. Here’s a few steps you can take to achieve this:
Is this too big of a step?
Dreaming big is good, but, is it possible? Wanting to drop 250 lbs in a year is (without a good deal of medical help) unattainable! Want to run a marathon, but have never run a block before? What about any health conditions you might have that could interfere? I’m not saying to give in to excuses, but it’s not typically healthy to lose more than 1.5 – 2 lbs in a week, and while it’s totally possible to train to run long distances in a year, if you have untreated asthma or a knee injury that needs physiotherapy, it’s just not realistic to set a goal that high. In this case, it’s better to modify it to something that’s attainable.
How will this fit into my current lifestyle?
This is a tough one!!! Everyone knows that our modern, North American lifestyle is crazy-busy! We work some of the longest hours, with the fewest days off, compared to most developed countries! There’s work, cleaning the house, doing laundry, meal prepping, and the list goes on and on! In a society where we don’t have time to cook a healthy meal on a regular basis, how are we going to fit in something new? Sometimes our resolutions work that very concept into itself! Sometimes there’s a way to either multi-task, get a gadget that will help us get things done faster, or simply a way we can organize ourselves so that we can accomplish more in a day. (That could be a resolution on it’s own!)
Sometimes, it’s just not possible to do more, though, and it’s important to recognize this. Lots of people are caring for relatives who cannot care for themselves, due to disability, illness, or simply aging. More and more people are dealing with this by looking into things like meal services, once-a-month house cleaning, and more. Bartering service for service is becoming more of a norm, too, as people find creative ways to afford the help they need.
Do I have the resources/support necessary to do this?
Do you need equipment? Tools? Babysitting? Make getting those resources part of your plan! Sometimes you can get sports equipment on sale, or at low cost on Kijiji or Buy and Sell sites, but make sure you are properly equipped! There’s nothing worse that being excited to go on that snowshoe, and discover that you have broken equipment! (This has happened to me! lol) Sometimes you can rent equipment while you try out something new, and the rental places can have some good advice for beginners. If you are a larger-sized person, there may not be as much available in terms of sports equipment. It can be challenging to find thermals in larger sizes, for instance, or skis or snowshoes that will support your weight. Do some research to find out what you need, and where you might find it.
Sometimes that support is supporting a change in lifestyle, too. If you decide to go vegan, but your family are firm meat-eaters, you might have an issue, unless you get their support! Want to cut back on drinking cola, but your spouse is guzzling Pepsi in front of you, or pours you a glass without you asking? You might need some help with that! There are lots of little things that your friends and family can do to support you, without necessarily sacrificing anything for themselves
This can also means finding something to give you that little push, too! Not to toot our own horn, but our membership program is designed to do just that. By pre-paying for one massage per month (at a reduced rate, only $69 + GST, and you can still get reimbursed by your insurance), it’s that little nudge to actually go and get it, rather than keep putting it off.
Is this something I actually want to do, or am I doing it because I am “supposed to”?
This is, perhaps, one of the biggest issues of all, especially with health-related resolutions. If you are deciding to something just because you “should”, it’s probably not going to stick, unless you can find some joy or satisfaction in it. It’s not a matter of will-power, it’s a matter of human nature. Will-power can get you going, and get you through a rough adjustment, but it’s not enough to keep you going long-term. Find a way to inject some fun into your resolution! Instead of doing boring cardio at the gym, take a belly-dance or cardio-drumming class! Want to eat healthier? Look up some interesting recipes or try some new spices! Learn to play with flavour!
In the long run, only you can decide what’s right and what works for you. Some people are able to dream the impossible dream, and achieve it! Most of us, though, need to put a little thought and planning into it. And, for some of us, the best New Year’s Resolution is no resolution at all!
May 2019 bring you happiness and good health! ~~ Kim