When we choose to make a positive shift in our lifestyles, whether subtle changes or dramatic transformations, it is never as easy as it sounds.
The first 20+ years of my career and personal life was dedicated to the fitness industry. I loved my job. I was able to help people realize their goals and dreams; see the excitement in their eyes, the passion in their convictions and new found enthusiasm for incorporating health, fitness and wellness into their lives. There is nothing like setting a goal, charging forward with our well thought out plan of action and eventually realizing that goal. Only every year I saw the same thing. Come January 1st the enthusiastic masses flooded the gym, full of optimism and exuding energy. All were religiously attending group fitness classes, attacking the cardio equipment with eagerness and zest and pounding the weights on a regular basis. It was all very impressive; until around mid February.
It never failed; the once motivated and enthusiastic started to frequent the gym fewer and fewer times a week. Eventually, the gym was almost exclusively limited to the consistent members I had seen daily over the years. What was different about their commitment and dedication?How were they able to stay committed day in and day out? I started asking questions.
Interestingly enough the same response arose over and over. Those who stayed consistent in obtaining their goals made the choice to do so on a daily, not annual basis. Hmmm, breaking anything down into bite sized pieces makes everything more digestible, doesn’t it?
Diet and exercise is a common resolution, but it is not the only one that people make.
The January 1st enthusiasts, or “New Year’s Res-“delusionists” as I refer to them had a very low success rate. In fact, some statistics state that 88% of all New Year’s Resolutions result in failure. 88%!!! That is remarkable, astonishing, not motivating, disheartening and frankly, downright depressing. Now, don’t misunderstand me. I admire every person that makes an attempt to improve their lives. It is truly admirable. But how can we improve on their success rate? Personal success tends to transcend everything in our lives. Our relationships at home improve; our productivity has been proven to increase in the work place, and best of all, our outlook on life is enhanced.
The concept of “New Year’s Resolution” dates back to the pre Christian times of the Babylonians. They would make promises to the God Janus; whom the month of January is named for. Well, I think it’s time for a change. It’s time to fast forward into the 21st Century. I mean, we don’t communicate via hieroglyphics anymore do we? Based on the mutual consensus of those folks who have remained committed to their personal goals I am now abandoning the old and ushering in the new. The new “New Year’s Resolution”…I call it… “New Days Resolution”.
The concept is simple. Setting singular, attainable goals has proven to result in a much higher success rate. The result percentage is sure to improve exponentially.
Start by getting a blank notepad or journal. Now, instead of making an overwhelming declaration like “I am going to lose 30 pounds”, start today by making the decision to eliminate one negative thing from your life or adding one positive this to it with a positive action or thought. For example, choose to skip dessert, make an overdue apology, be kind to a stranger, laugh a little louder, volunteer, say ‘I love you’, hug your child, kiss your dog, call your Mom, skip that second glass of wine, start writing that song, poem or love letter you always said you would, anything that will make a difference in yours and the lives of others. The opportunities are endless. Next; jot down your achievement in that notepad or journal at the end of each day.
You will find as the year progresses your journal will become filled with your daily successes. On those days where you find yourself doubting yourself you can simply flip back through the pages, look back on all those daily accomplishments and I guarantee you will swell with pride.
Congratulations on your new daily journey!