New Years Resolutions: The Truth

I’m not a believer in New Years Resolutions for myself. I’ve never been one to make a resolution based on the year changing. As a friend recently said, there’s really no magical difference between one year and the next, and I agree.

With that said, however, New Years Resolutions do seem to be a thing, and a thing that works for some people. I won’t belittle anyone for making one. If that’s your thing, DO IT! But if you make a resultion, then there’s something very important thing you need to know. Most of them fail.

The reasons for this are many, and I am not going to go into them. I will dovetail off the last post I made and tackle one such reason: realistic goals. Many people make resolutions to exercise three or even five times a week. They make a resolution to eat healthy. They make resolutions to lose weight. All of these are very difficult to do when going from a lifestyle that doesn’t incorporate any of these already.

Make whatever resolution you want to make, but make it realistic. Make it more generalized. Make the goals attainable. Instead of saying, “I want to lose 50 lbs by July,” say, ” I want to be healthier by the summertime.” Instead of saying, “I will work out five times a week,” say, “I am going to adopt a plan that allows me to get into exercise in a healthy way that encourages me to want to exercise more on my own” or “I want to get into the habit of exercising.”

When Sherry and I decided to do our first Whole30, we didn’t wait for New Year. We started a week after our decision was made. We took that week to get rid of food we already had by either eating it, donating it, giving it away, or throwing it away (it’s surprising how much bad food we had in our pantry and refrigerator!). When we did our second Whole30, it was again, something we felt we should do to reset things, and we just did it. We are about to start our third Whole30 in a few days, and it has nothing to do with New Years Resolutions and everything to do with the fact that we need to get back to smaller portions and eating good, whole foods. Our Paleo diet has been super awesome, but we’ve allowed some non-Paleo things to creep in here and there, and we don’t want to backslide. So… Whole30 #3, here we come!

If you’re a resolutions type of person, make a realistic one. For the rest of us, there’s no time like the present to make a change. That it happens to be a New Year shouldn’t stop you. If someone asks if your changed diet or exercise plan is a resolution, you can tell them it is and be done with it or tell them it’s a coincidence. It really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you make a change, set realistic goals, and stick with it.

2 thoughts on “New Years Resolutions: The Truth

  1. Yes. I have never made New Year’s resolutions, either, for the same reasons. But this year, for the first time in MANY years, I have set up some goals for 2017. I look at goals a little differently than resolutions. I won’t go into my goals, since they’re not too centered on weight loss (some of it is, but that’s not my main goal–it’s more of a side effect, lol!). But I have learned that the key to goals is to go ahead and set that big goal. That’s fine. But you MUST have an action plan to get there, which usually involves a series of smaller goals. So, saying “I will lose 50 pounds by July” during the first week of January is a realistic goal (based on a realistic estimate of losing 1-2 pounds per week), but it can also seem insurmountable on the hard days. So you can put that out there (I recommend it–positive affirmations are HUGE), but then bullet it point it with smaller goals that will help you reach that goal: “I will lose 10 pounds in January by eating according to the Whole 30 plan and walking 1 mile each weekday. I will lose 8 pounds in February by eating Paleo and waling 2 miles each weekday. In March, I will lose 8 more pounds by eating Paleo and starting to jog/walk my two miles this month. Easter is in this month, so at the beginning of the month, I will set a plan for getting through that holiday without getting too far off course.” And so forth. And that action plan is not set in stone. If you get into it, and it’s not working out, tweak it, add to it, or whatever you have found that will work.

    The other thing I have learned through hard trial and error is that they are just goals. If something happens in February, and you only lose 5 pounds, so what? Does that mean you no longer have a goal for July? No. Just keep on keeping on. YOU set the goal. You won’t getting an F on your report card if you don’t reach it, and the only person you hurt by not carrying on is you.

    Just a few things I have had to work a lot harder than I should have to learn that might help, too. (Confessions of a recovering perfectionist.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lots of good ideas there, Carey! My goals are more general in nature, but that’s just me. As for the real gem for me here was, “YOU set the goal. You won’t getting an F on your report card if you don’t reach it, and the only person you hurt by not carrying on is you.” Goals are goals. Sometimes we reach them, and sometimes they elude us. I’m still chasing 165 lbs and I’m not giving up! It took me a lot longer to get to 175 lbs than I would have liked, but I made it!!!

      Happy New Year!

      Like

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