-Original Post: January 14th, 2017-
It's been two weeks since we toasted to the New Year and with deep introspect, made plans of self-betterment for 2017. So my question for you is: where are those plans now? What happened to the resolutions you made with every ounce of self certainty to begin to tackle this year? For some of you, you started strong and things sort of trailed off. For others you never got started. And for those of you who dove in and stayed strong this post isn't for you. (Post something on instagram with the caption "two weeks and still on track" and tag @platesandpines so we can give you a high-five.)
Let's look at the reasons why New Year's Resolutions end up on the curb next to the Christmas tree. For starters, the word "resolution":
Resolution - defined as:
1. an official decision that is made.
2. a promise to yourself to do or to not do something.
3. the act of solving or ending a problem or difficulty.
Number 1. and number 2. sound great, but number 3. indicates that there is a negative aspect about yourself that you want to change. The biggest reason we often do not commit to a change of habits is because it is founded upon negative enforcement. Focusing on the negative rarely motivates anyone, or anyone for very long. Don't get me wrong, it is wise to see that we as human beings are imperfect, but a negative opinion of ones self cannot be a driving force. It keeps you in an unhappy state, one of which you will need to get away from.
1. the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
2. the destination of a journey.
3. a point marking the end of a race.
These are the definitions of "goals". These are the reasons you should have if you aim to achieve that which you have set out to do. Trade in the idea that you have an imperfection, a flaw, or an aspect that makes you feel lesser than your full potential, because it isn't. This is an opportunity for incredible growth and all you need to do is set your sites on the outcome you are looking for.
Set goals, not resolutions.
The second reason you may be stumbling on how to keep or how to start working toward your goals for this year is a lack of, or poor planning. If you want to build a house, a business, or cook a delicious meal, all of these successes begin with a plan. A goal is no different. A plan is so crucial to achieving your goal. You must realize that at the end point, there is no more work, it becomes a new chapter, but it's the day to day steps you made to get there that ultimately won the battle. It doesn't work just waking up and hoping that you'll begin making motions to achieve your dreams. Take time to sit down and figure out how your day can shift to include working towards what you want to achieve. It will be the most valuable time you have given yourself this year.
When planning how to get your goal there are two types of approaches: one is to go all in and the other is take it one step at a time. To understand those who go all in, it is easier to eliminate bad habits and risks of falling of track by making the plan to change all at once. Those who take it in steps find it easier to focus on mastering one skill at a time, often through repetition. For anyone who needs to take it in steps it is tremendously important that you not only make a plan for your goal, but plan each step along the way and set a realistic timeline for each success. Most people find themselves as either an all in or a taking steps kind of person, but as we are all unique and individual human beings, you may find success balancing both methods, maybe going all in with fitness, but taking steps improving your nutrition, or vice-versa.
The final reason you may find it difficult to start or stay on track is that you don't know where to begin. Your goals do not have to be a solo effort! Ask for help. Get a nutrition coach and/or fitness coach to work out a plan with you. Enlist friends and family to support and motivate you. They may even join you! Start a journal or social media account to document your journey and create accountability, even if it is just with yourself. If your goal is not health or fitness related seek out the guidance of your local small business advisor, financial planner, or therapist. There is nothing you cannot achieve in health and happiness in 2017.
A goal isn't an idea, it's where your future self will be.