Any of you who have followed my blog for a while will remember that last year I wrote a post called something like “Drop the Resolutions; Pick Up a Bucket”. I am once again picking up my bucket, and ditching resolutions. But my bucket list shall be in a different post, coming up tomorrow guys- for now I’m talking goals.
I stopped making resolutions per say last year, and instead focused on goals and a bucket list. Now, this year I do have goals. There are things I want to achieve. Things I don’t feel as though any ‘resolution’ will help me achieve. The goals are something that take drive, and my bucket list something to keep it fun…
But why not resolutions? Well, resolutions are usually one or both of two things:
- Too vague
- Too restricting
People “give up chocolate”, people say in a whimsical way “Oh, yeah, I’m going to lose weight…”, people go “I’m going to give up smoking/drinking/stalking *insert celebrity* on IG/FB/Twitter”. My resolutions used to be like that. And usually, I did achieve them to be honest. Because I am a stubborn person who has issues with perfectionism. But that’s not the point.
Goals give you much more flexibility, and can be broken down into smaller chunks. So, say my big goal is to become stronger. My smaller goals might be ‘be able to do my squats with a barbell of 20kg by the end of January’, then ‘be able to do my squats with a barbell of 30kg by the end of February’. Maybe its about experiencing different types of workouts: ‘rock climbing once a month’ ‘yoga at home three times a week’. Maybe for you it is something like losing weight, and your resolution is ‘lose 2 stone’. A few goals such as ‘become more active’ and ‘improve my diet’ are much more flexible and helpful in the long run…
Lets begin with resolutions that are too restricting. If you say ‘lose 2 stone’ then you’re likely to try and eat nothing but dust in order to reach that 2 stone marker more quickly; you risk losing all of the things you enjoy, craving them more, hating healthy eating and exercise, falling off the wagon- and staying off. Having pizza once in a while is okay. Going out with friends for drinks is okay. Sitting in a blanket fort instead of the gym sometimes is okay. I’m not saying so these things all the time, because then you will make no progress, but with a goal like ‘improve my diet’ you have that flexibility and opportunity to strive for balance. Lets keep running with the ‘improve my diet’ one, perhaps your smaller goals will be:
- Eat my five a day, every day for the month of January (by the end of the month, this will have become a habit)
- Switch to skinny cappuccinos/ lattes over full fat, and drink more water (again, it will become a habit)
- Have cut down my biscuit/crisp/cake intake per day by a half, by the end of January.
How about goals that are too vague? Perhaps your resolution is ‘to give up smoking’. Okay, well, when by? By February? By December? By 2017? Your goal could be something like ‘to have given up smoking by the end of June’. Then mini goals of…
- Get to 10am without a cigarette each day for one week, from the 4th of January- 17th January. Then the next one…
- Cut my usual cigarette intake down by a half each day for this week.
And keep going. Perhaps by the end of January you want to have halved the number of cigarettes you have each day, and by February cut down to a quarter of the usual amount you would have. Keep gradually phasing them out.
Whatever goal you make, keep going with the smaller goals until the end of the year. Keep your big goals to four maximum, and your smaller goals per month to three maximum. It keeps it manageable. You can either plan out goals way in advance, or re-evaluate at the end of each month before making you next set of mini goals- this is much better if your original mini goal turned out to be slightly too ambitious, and you need to take it more slowly.
You can never fail, because reaching a goal is a fun and, yes, long journey. A resolution (I think) makes you feel as if you’ve failed when you slipped up, because it is so definite, giving the impression what you want to achieve can be achieved in the clicking of your fingers.
So guys, enjoy forming some goals, and whatever journey they take you on – and remember, slipping up doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means that you’re human. All that matters is you get back into the swing of things as soon as you can!
I have goals too for this year, and I will be falling off that wagon numerous times, I would be lying if I told you I wouldn’t. What matters is that however many times I do fall, I manage to drag myself back on, and eventually end up standing on that wagon as it careers down the motorway at 70mph.