Today, I shall share with you a method to make your New Year’s Resolutions more solid for an all around more successful 2017!
The first day my gym opened for the New Year, it was relatively quiet. I expected it to be packed with the fresh victims of New Year’s Resolutions not-made-to-keep. I expected a horde of new faces jumping, squatting, treadmilling, and just generally looking like they did not know what the hell they were doing. I expected to have to fight these neophytes for every machine and dumbbell that I wanted to use. To my surprise, this did not happen.
January and February, due to New Year’s Resolutions, tend to be the busiest months at any given gym in the world. I would say that 50% of the regulars at my gym stayed home to avoid this dreaded beginning of the year influx of fledglings, but the fledglings made up for the lost volume of the regular gym goers. Notwithstanding, no regular or newcomer occupied any machine or weights that I wanted. My workout proved to be smooth and free of delay. I rather enjoy watching these new kids on the block sweat and grunt with fat hanging over their new or ridiculously-old gym-shorts, most using bad posture and form because they have obviously never visited a gym in their lives. My amusement makes up for the inconvenience at the beginning of the year. I’m almost ashamed at how much entertainment I derive from these bumbling beginners.
The gym makes lots of money off of these New Year’s Resolutioners, who will stop coming to the gym anywhere from a week to two months later. The gym makes not much money off of me: I get my money’s worth, now that I have found intermittent fasting (more on this, in another post).
On the other hand, I admire these tenderfoots for their tenacity and their resolve to lose weight and get in shape; I feel sorry for them that the vast majority do not know how to do it, or how to stick with it. I just hope they don’t hurt themselves.
My Two Cents
At a very young age, I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions, due to the fact that no one I knew, including myself, could ever muster the dedication it takes to achieve their set goals. I wondered if it were not human frailty that caused this oft too repeated pattern: make New Year’s Resolution, gain determination for about a month, lose resolve, fail. I have experienced my fair share of failure; I don’t need to plan for it on December 31st of each year. So I used humor to answer the agonizingly brash question, “Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions for this year?” My reply, since about 25-years-of-age, “My New Year’s Resolution was to make no New Year’s Resolutions…and it worked.” We would laugh about the irony, I would ask about their Resolutions, they would tell me, I would laugh inside because I knew that they would fail, I would give the obligatory congratulations on Resolutions well chosen (even though everyone has the same damn New Year’s Resolutions), and we would never return to the subject again.
Lately, I have figured out the reason for this resolve/failure pattern. Most New Year’s Resolutions lack true resolve. Sounds simple, but let me explain. Resolutioners generally plan their goals in a vague way from January 1st on, to an undefined and undetermined time or date. Here’s an example: “Re-connect with friends I’ve lost touch with.” Very, very, very vague. This Resolution raises more questions than it answers. Here’s another example, “Lose weight and get in shape.” Wow, just wow! Failure waiting to happen. Once a little weight is lost and a little bit of shape regained and a lot of pain and suffering experienced, we can convince ourselves to quit, right? Sound familiar?
A Better Way
Also, I’ve discovered a better way, not a foolproof way, but better than the usual way. My daughter turned me on to Carrie Green over at the Female Entrepreneur Association, who besides being a very motivating person has three questions one should ask one’s self in order to have a successful year.
Here are the questions:
- What do I want to have achieved by the end of 2017?
- How am I going to make it happen?
- What kind of person do I need to be to make it happen?
You should write down the answers to each of these questions for each of your goals. Watch the video, here.
You see, Carrie starts from the end of the year and forces you to imagine specifically what you want to accomplish. Not only that, you have to answer exactly what you are going to have to do to accomplish said goals. As if this were not enough to make Resolutions your superpower, you have to determine the type of person you will need to be, or the type of person you need to change into, in order to succeed at your goals. Amazing! Empowering and amazing! Also, these “resolutions” can be easily quantified and measured and modified throughout the year for success.
Practice, Practice, Practice
So let’s rework the first resolution above: “Re-connect with friends I’ve lost touch with.” Answer #1: “I want to have reconnected with ten friends with whom I have lost touch by the end of 2017!” Answer #2: “At least once per month, I will pick up the phone and call, or email, or contact on social media, one long-lost friend and start a conversation and invite them for coffee if applicable.” Answer #3: “I’m going to need to be a lot less shy and ashamed for not keeping connected. I’m going to need to be more extroverted and not expect people to call me first.” A sure plan for success!
How about one of my goals? (I still don’t like calling it a New Year’s Resolution…smacks of failure to me.) Answer #1: “I want to still be on at least two-days-a-week intermittent fasting and achieve four seasonal long-term fasts by the end of 2017.” Answer #2: “By studying about IF and long-term fasting, setting a schedule for fasting two days a week on Tuesday and Thursday, growing my blog, setting the countdown widget for each long-term fast.” Answer #3: “I’m going to need to be on Facebook less, much less! and continue to be diligent about fasting, exercising, and study.” With my friends, I will share this method. However, I’m still going to tell people that I made no New Year’s Resolutions; it’s funnier.
So remember, ask yourself 1) What you want to achieve by the end of 2017, 2) What you will need to do to accomplish the goal, and 3) What kind of person you will need to be to achieve success.
Let’s see if you can rework the other example, about weight loss and getting in shape, in the comments below. Feel free to reshape any of your New Year’s Resolutions in the comments, and I will give you feedback. Gone are the days of Resolution failures. Plus, go to the Female Entrepreneur Association and check out all the great ideas presented by Carrie Green.
Good luck with your New Year’s Goals! And if you see me in the gym anytime between March and December, say hello. Until next time stay fast and fit!