It’s the time of year, a new year is dawning, when many of us decide to make resolutions. However, if you spend any time AT ALL on the Internet (and, I mean, who doesn’t?!?!), you’ll likely see numerous posts and discussions detailing why certain individuals REFUSE to make resolutions. In fact, some of my clients and online followers might feel much the same.
I don’t write this post on resolutions in order to get you to change your mind if it’s firmly fixed on riding the anti-resolution bandwagon. Instead, I write this to explain why resolution and resolve seem to be saddled with a bad rap. I resolve to do many things better, in 2018 and beyond. Yes, I’ll make some resolutions now, at the dawn of the New Year. But I also expect to test my resolve throughout the year.
First let’s look at what the dictionary has to say about resolution. The term resolution comes from “resolute,” which, in turn, comes from “resolve.”
1. firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion:
2.characterized by firmness and determination, as the temper, spirit,actions, etc.:
1. a resolution or determination made, as to follow some course of action.
2. firmness of purpose or intent; determination.
New Year? Needless Resolutions?
Neither of those words should lead anyone to derision and scorn. Yet the making of resolutions at the dawning of the New Year often leads to mutterings about the lack of resolve involved in the making of said resolutions. Sure, it might seem silly to mark the dawning of a new year with hopes for change. We should be open to making changes at any time of year, right? Especially changes that will better our life in the form of health and wellness.
But there’s something about the start of a New Year, isn’t there? It’s a time to kickstart. A time for renewal. A time to get back in gear after holiday indulgences. What’s really wrong with using the New Year to kickstart a healthier way of living, of eating, of moving? The answer? Nothing, really.
Resolutions Fail When You Lack Resolve
The problems occur when you make resolutions without any actual resolve. Without a means to hold yourself accountable to the resolution you’ve made.
Who will hold you accountable? If you have the strength to hold yourself accountable, that’s fan-freaking-tastic! But many of us need a little help! Do you have a peer group? A best friend in fitness? A partner or spouse also intent on making 2018 the healthiest, happiest, most well year ever? Yes? Tap into that relationship to bolster accountability.
Do you workout with me? Either one on one or in a small group setting or class? If so, great. Share your resolution(s) with me and we’ll figure out a way to check in regularly to amp up your accountability.
Resolutions Fail When They’re Ridiculous!
Many a resolution sets itself on a collision course with failure when it fails to be even remotely attainable. It’s important to resolve to be realistic when it comes to setting your resolutions. You’re not going to safely lose 50 pounds in a month. You’re not going to develop a six pack with a handful of ab workouts. You can’t completely overhaul your diet in a day.
Wellness and health resolutions require time, effort and a healthy dose of realism. Success is seen when you make slow, steady, maintainable changes to lifestyle, rather than going cold turkey or crash dieting.
What’s realistic is different for everyone. Resolve isn’t enough to meet a goal or attain a desire if you’re not realistic. What can you do? What can you give up, alter, change? Setting a goal without the resolve to attain it is self-sabotage.
New Year, New You?
I ABSOLUTELY believe you can make real and meaningful resolutions, seek realistic change, set realistic goals at ANY time of year. Even at the dawn of a New Year. Especially at the dawn of a New Year.
Resolutions CAN work! With resolve! Set your sights on smart, attainable goals. Gather a team for accountability and even a little commiseration and go forth! If you never set a goal, it’s hard to meet a goal, right?