You know what’s coming.
With the arrival of the New Year, comes the oft-dreaded topic of the resolutions.
But you know what stinks about resolutions?
People don’t keep them.
How many years does a person declare, “This is the year I lose twenty pounds!” only to go to the gym for two weeks and then fall back into a lifestyle of potato chips, Diet Coke, and chicken nuggets?
Let’s not talk about resolutions in this noncommittal way. A lot of us make resolutions because it’s in vogue, not because we have any intention of keeping them.
Tsk, tsk. You know what works? Action plans, and keeping a record of your accomplishments. Studies show that when people follow up and get accountability partners (a friend who’ll check up on you regularly! I’ve been talking about this for eons) their success rates go up considerably, up to something like 75%. Or more.
I speak from personal experience on this one: If you’re resolving to hit the gym (most important thing for physical rehab), schedule it in the way you schedule in a dentist appointment. It’s non-negotiable, not a social engagement (unless you make it so). Some people find it easier to go to the gym with a buddy, so if that’s you, do that.
Why have I waited till February to address this? Because this is around the time people start falling off the wagon, and it’s time to push ourselves to get back up and get going again.
My gym every year holds a Get Fit Challenge for a grand prize of $10,000 (it is a chainwide competition). It starts on 1 February (probably for the exact same reason I just stated above) and lasts twelve weeks. Ninety days! That’s three months!
Three months are an excellent goal, because it’s short enough to feel temporary, but long enough to trick you into forming true good habits.
In fact, I created a 90-day challenge with my boyfriend last year in all areas (health, rehab, business, finance, personal, miscellaneous) and we called each other every evening to record our progress. It went well and we both learned to prioritize the changes we wanted to make in our lives, and finally, it helped a lot to have some “ends” in sight: rewards and punishments for good and bad weeks.
Another trick is to repeat the process from time to time. You finish one 90-day challenge, maintain, and a little later tweak some things, since there’s always improvement to be made.
I hope you’re encouraged by this, because it’s exciting to change for the better!
It won’t be easy, that’s for sure, but it’s truly a journey worth making. The trick is in the commitment.
How do you react to falling off the wagon? By getting back on. Little goof-ups are inevitable — but the important part is recognizing your priorities and tackling them consistently.
And yes, to those of you wondering, one of my resolutions is more frequent posting (oops), so as you can see, I am human too and make mistakes. But I am here now!
Who’s with me?
To our healing,