I’m a master at making resolutions. In 2016 I planned to run a marathon, in 2017 I was going to reduce my stress, and in 2018 I was going to save money. But guess what? I can barely run 10k, I’m balancing three jobs at once, and I just got back from a trip to Nepal. My purpose in sharing this is not to highlight my mastery at breaking resolutions, but to illustrate how hard it is to accomplish goals that are vague and that you’re forced into making based on the calendar year.
We all want to eat better, move more, and stress less, but why does January have to be the only time to do it? Your diet and lifestyle are an everyday kind of love, not some rocky relationship you fall in and out of love with.
I hear this all the time from clients:
I was being good until Tuesday when someone offered me chocolate, and then Wednesday I was too busy to work out, so I ate like crap all weekend and figured I’d wait until Monday to get back on track.
Setting hard and fast rules or resolutions creates the notion that there’s a wagon to fall off or a black and white of what’s good and bad. It’s not that simple; you are not a bad person because you didn’t lose 20 lbs this year. Resolutions are designed to fail when you set goals that are too big and there’s no road map to success.
In my experience, setting massive goals also creates lots of anxiety and a fear of failure. When I first set a goal, I feel excited and ready to take on the world, that elation is immediately followed by panic. My internal monologue goes something like:
I’m pumped, I got this! Whoa wait a second this goal is so big I’ll never accomplish it, and I don’t have any time to do it, maybe it isn’t even important to me in the first place, and –oh chocolate, I’ll just eat and think about everything later.
Imagine a world where you weren’t always hopping on the latest fad (and then falling off). What if small manageable changes were built into your day so that you didn’t feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all? That’s the approach I take to your health, oh and I always build in time for chocolate 😉.