How to avoid being a “Resolutionary”

I have to give full credit to my husband for the term “Resolutionary”. We were discussing the influx of people at the gym in January and he said, “I call them resolutionaries.” Resolutionaries crowd gyms across the country in January to adhere to their New Year’s Resolutions of getting fit, losing weight or exercising more. By February the gyms are typically back to their normal crowd size.

Resolutionaries are people who are, initially, fired up about their resolutions and fade as quickly as they started. If the only greens you have eaten all year are the jalapenos on top of your nacho plates; changing your diet to completely vegetarian is probably not going to last long. If your daily exercise routine consists of nothing beyond household chores, suddenly deciding to hit the gym five days a week is not very realistic. Over committing to overachieving is a recipe for resolution disaster. If you really want to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, whatever they may be, there are some simple steps you can follow.

  1. You are making a change, as much as you would like it to happen over night, in most cases it won’t. Approach your goal at a slow and steady pace that you can maintain: think “Tortoise and the Hare.” This is not a race; this is a long-term lifestyle change that you want to embrace. Make your goals achievable.  Look at your schedule and see what you can realistically commit to for at least one month and if you achieve more that is a bonus. You can celebrate exceeding your goals versus not meeting your own expectations and beating yourself up for failing.
  2. Look at roadblocks or obstacles that get in the way of your progress as temporary problems to be solved not a reason to give up. Life gets in the way sometimes and that is ok. But you can’t let a busy week of work derail you from the lifestyle you want.
  3. Brainstorm solutions. If obstacles keep getting in your way brainstorm solutions with a friend or family member to overcome or get around those obstacles.
  4. Enlist a buddy. Your buddy should be someone who is going to connect with you once a week. If you have fallen off track or need some encouragement, they can help you figure out ways to get you back on track or help you stay  motivated.
  5. Keep track of your success and celebrate it.

Once you have succeeded with your small goal; (working out three times a week or eating one vegetable every day) raise the bar a little bit. Before you know it, your resolution will no longer be a hope; it will be your reality!

Best wishes for a fabulous 2016!

Sarah E Stewart, MSW, CPC
@SarahStewartMSW
Coach and Author
My latest novel coming soon: Strangers on Newbury Street
Broken in the Back Bay
Sarah Stewart Consulting

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