Redefine the Resolution Process
The traditional approach often fails. Here’s a more promising one.
As a new year approaches and an especially stressful one closes worldwide, we might feel daunted (maybe even paralyzed) by the prospect of making health & fitness resolutions. After all, staying fit is a difficult feat when you’re under ANY kind of serious stress, and the past 10 months have been super charged with it. So, if just thinking about resolutions exhausts you, it’s understandable—but not ideal for health.
Viktor Frankl said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” In times of extremely difficult circumstances, we make progress toward positive change when we assess what we CAN control and then keep the strategies simple. In times like this, WE are usually the only factor we can significantly impact.
If you hope to ride a new year “resolution wave” as you have in the past, then you may need to alter your approach this time through. Consider these pointers that put YOU, not outside factors, in control.
Rethink the word “resolution.”
How you personally define “resolution” is a variable that you control. Research shows that 80% of annual resolutions fail! Other studies show about a third fail in the very first month. The word resolution itself overwhelms many people with connotations of rigidity, pressure and high stakes. It often means “quick fix” to many, but no such thing exists in the health & wellness realm. Think about reframing your process. If for example, instead of being locked into a resolution, you choose to “keep a promise to yourself” or “aim for a goal that’s near & dear to you,” then a deeper sense of having more time & flexibility arise. This is incredibly advantageous.
Know that this will be a very different January.
It sounds obvious to say, but it’s extremely important to acknowledge that, this winter, we will not be seeking fitness under ordinary conditions. Instead of railing against reality & wishing things were “normal,” put that energy into brainstorming relevant strategies. For example, if your workout buddy can’t meet at a gym, find another way to continue supporting each other. Be honest about what's holding you back during this atypical year and vow to find ways to make your resolution a reality.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to pinpoint what matters most to you and to boil down goals to the essential ones. For example, do you need to lower blood sugar? rein in stress? stay as healthy as possible as you serve public and/or family? Times of stress consume massive amounts of mental & physical energy. So, make goals & strategies as simple & achievable as humanly possible.
Take the long view.
As we face the fact that this new year will be downright surreal, we should also remember that nothing lasts forever and that change lies on the horizon. As experts have advised, by next summer, we may all be living a more familiar version of life. Keep this in mind as you work toward your best health and as you imagine how you want to feel in the future that DOES lie ahead.
May the new year and this ENTIRE next year bring each of us a deep well of motivation, sound health & peace. Happy New Year, my friends.
Just a note: If you’re enjoying these weekly posts, please stay tuned for more at the start of January. I’ll be taking some holiday time to restore, regroup, relax & set exciting priorities for 2021. Hope you too have the good fortune to enjoy what your spirit needs this holiday season. Much Love. J.