This post has been brought to you by Youfit’s very own COO, J.J. Creegan
I won’t set any New Year’s resolutions. I honestly don’t know if I ever have.
When I hear the drastic changes people set as their goals, I cringe. My mind and body have always thrived under incremental progress, and I believe this to be the case for many of you too. Come January of each year, however, our country, or maybe even our world, becomes consumed with immediate and drastic changes. Basically, we all say to ourselves, “I know I am X person today but tomorrow, January 1 I am going to be a completely different, better, skinner, healthier, happier person.”
It’s not possible in just one day. Sorry.
In truth, some people do achieve this, and by some, I mean a few (the minority, barely anyone). According to research, only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. Good for them. Seriously, good for them! They achieved their goals and 92% of the world is jealous because we didn’t. If you read further, you will see that most achieve their resolutions through realistic goal-setting. Instead of setting a weight loss resolution of 20 pounds, the successful say “I am going to go to the gym 2 times per week.” Everyone can find time to go to Youfit two times every week. It’s important to remember that every visit is a victory, so why not make winning a habit?
When setting goals/resolutions/plans, it is vital that we look at where we are today and develop a plan to take us where we want to go. Here are my suggestions for making impactful plans for 2018:
1. Focus on the action.
It isn’t about losing X pounds in the new year. It is about creating healthy habits that will lead to losing weight and a better life. The goal should be to exercise at least X times per week. The key is to find something that works for you. We are all unique. Just because it works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. The added benefit of this approach is the action continues. It isn’t finite and doesn’t end when you are down ten pounds.
2. Plan to miss.
No one is perfect and I don’t know a single schedule that is either. Things will change and you will need to take a detour on your trip. Plan for it. Even though you wanted to make your lunch five days a week, three is still way better than your old habit, none. Far too many of us allow one rough week to derail our entire plan. Don’t let this happen to you.
3. Don’t repeat your fails.
Do you set the same resolutions each year? Do you miss those resolutions each year? Because of my gig, many feel the need to tell me how this year is the year they will get back to the gym. I hope all of them and you do. However, if you keeping setting the same goals and keep missing then something is off. You need to evaluate your past failures and identify the opportunity to change. If you don’t make it to the gym on your own, maybe you should make the goal to save money for a trainer to make sure you do show up.
So for me, I make plans (not resolutions). I will stick to a plan that allows me to start small and build from it. One that provides a foundation and is realistic for my life. Realistic…not drastic. I also start these plans in the current year. If I can make progress before Thanksgiving, I know that my likelihood of achievement is much higher. So here are some of my plans and current works in progress.
1. I plan to leave my phone in my room. I am a husband, a father, and a teammate. Like many of you, my phone has been attached to me like an appendage I grew. This serves as a distraction that takes away from my time and ability to connect. I will leave my phone in my office and room more often so I can truly engage. Once again, this is not a drastic change. When the twins wake up, the phone goes away. When I leave my office, I leave my phone there.
2. I plan to meditate at least 30 minutes per week to help me find some calm and focus in my life. I started using Headspace the second week of December and have stuck with it. What is my plan? Do it first thing in the morning at 5:10 am instead of wasting time on the internet. Headspace has beginner packs that start you out at just three minutes. Everyone can do this.
3. I plan to read at least 24 books. In recent years I have gone from reading nothing, to reading at least one book per month. I do most of my reading while doing cardio and have found it helpful to read on a Kindle device. It prevents me from getting distracted from messages on my iPad. Currently, I’m at 3 books for the month of December. I am doing this to add depth to me as a leader, teammate, and human. My hope is that I uncover different views and learn things that I am dying to share. I have already identified half of the books for the year so that way I avoid the excuse of questioning what I am going to read.
4. I plan to track my activity. This one will be my beast. With pen and paper I want to start tracking my hourly activity during the week and reflecting on my daily wins and losses. I have scoured the internet for the best planners to assist with this and ended up buying four different ones. I know, I can do this on my phone but…see #1 above. When I reflect on the prior hour I want to make sure it had an impact and delivered value. I don’t want to write, “mindlessly scrolling thru Facebook and looked at my elementary school best friend’s (who I haven’t heard from in 15 years) new puppy.”
I hope my perspective on this helps you set a solid plan for your life in 2018. Just remember that you are unique. Just because something works or doesn’t work for someone else, doesn’t mean it will have the same results for you. Find the best yearly plan that works for YOU.