Each year millions of people create “New Year’s Resolutions,” vowing to give up certain things or add in something to their daily lives. Many will vow to cut out sugar, eat healthier, lose weight, save money, be more punctual, etc. Many, however, will refuse to make a New Year’s Resolution, saying that they will be setting themselves up for failure if they don’t obtain it. They would rather not set the goal than to set one and fail.
I think that any effort to better yourself is always a good thing. Each year I make a goal list of things that I want to work on. I put them into categories: Health, Family, Financial, and Spiritual. Health can be a fitness, nutrition, or weight loss goal. Family covers my marriage, my boys, extended family, and even things like household chores (since it all affects us as a family). Financial covers getting out of debt, saving for vacations, and saving for unexpected events, etc. We love Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” for anyone that is working on bettering their finances! Spiritual includes goals for Bible study, prayer time, Bible reading, etc.
By breaking goals into categories, it is easier for me to set realistic expectations and helps me to organize my timeframe. There is an acronym called “S.M.A.R.T.” that helps goals be more attainable. S= Specific. M= Measurable. A= Attainable. R= Realistic. T= Timely. If a goal is too vague, it will be hard to reach. For example,”I want to lose weight.” That is a tough goal because there isn’t a specific goal weight, time frame, or even how someone plans to lose the weight. Saying, “I want to lose 10 pounds by March” is much more specific. Then, other details could be added as far as how to lose the weight, such as following a certain diet plan or working out a certain amount of days per week.
My current goals are losing the 10 pounds that has crept on over the past year! Currently, I am counting points through the Weight Watchers app. I have been a “Lifetime” member for about six years, but have not counted points the whole time. I had tried lots of other more restricted diets, but they are hard to stick to. I would either get too busy to cook a bunch of complicated/time-consuming meals (that the rest of the family wouldn’t eat so I would have to cook two meals), or I would get bored with the limited options after a while. When I did Whole 30 (which is a Paleo-type of diet: meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. No grains, dairy, legumes, or processed foods) I would do ok for a while, but then I would have intense cravings for all the things I wasn’t “supposed” to eat. If I ate what I wasn’t “supposed” to, I would quit the program and decide to start again “next week” or just feel like a failure. I’m trying to change my current outlook into, “Start right now.” Eat something you weren’t supposed to? It’s ok, forgive yourself and move on. Start over. Now, not tomorrow, not next week. I’m currently focusing on increasing protein and vegetables. I am still eating some carbohydrates, but I’m trying to cut back a little since those items are much higher in points! Tracking works for me because it makes me pay attention to snacking habits, or the little bites here and there that actually add up to a lot of extra calories!
I’ve always been very consistent with my workouts. My work schedule can make it difficult due to going into work so early, but I get up early and get in 30-45 minutes before work. Sometimes I can get a little extra in while my youngest is at basketball practice. I’ve been strength training at the gym and at home with DVDs (I love any of the Cathe Friederich workouts), running or walking on the treadmill, using the stair mill or cybrex machine, and doing yoga or PiYo. I try to workout at least five days a week. I definitely have to plan it out though, or it won’t happen!
I will be sharing more about goals and resolutions over the next couple of weeks. What goals are you working on? Remember, make sure that your goals are SMART. Feel free to contact me with questions or if you need suggestions/motivation!