Rethink Resolutions

I know many people don’t make resolutions anymore. However at my health club classes I teach and take will be packed for the first six weeks of the year. So some people make new fitness goals. Then I will see number drop at about week 6 and level off to normal. This is my take on why most resolutions don’t work.

Think of SMART Goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time based. Here is an epic fail and I hear it often as a wellness coach. Client says my goal is to improve my fitness. Me “Why?” Client says because I should. Compare that to, my goal is start work earlier so I can leave work by 5 PM to get to my favorite cardio class on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 PM. I’m starting next week so I’m more prepared for my June hiking trip in Glacier National Park.

Also people don’t meet goals as they have no Plan B. Week 1 a crisis comes up at work and the client has to work until 8 PM Wednesday. Do they have a back up plan? Maybe they can power walk around the neighborhood at home or use the treadmill at the gym with Thursday reserved as a back up workout day. Life happens have a back plan for your goals.

Another issue is being externally motived. My coworkers have made some comments about my weight so I guess I better hit the gym. Intrinsic motivation is an energizing of behavior that comes from within where the reward is the behavior itself. Even better than the hiking motivation would be I love the way I feel after a good workout. I feel less stress and have more energy overall. The weight loss would be another benefit but many people get discouraged when using weight loss as a primary motivator.

No support is a big reason for failed goals. Every Wednesday your significant other, best friend or coworkers go out for mid week Happy Hour. Verses every Wednesday your significant other, best friend or at least one other coworker has also designated the evening to workout. It doesn’t matter if they do your workout with you, we are to some degree influenced by the six people we spend the most time around and what they do.

Finally don’t even make goals in January, yes you heard me. In the northern part of the world when it is covered in ice and snow we want to hibernate. I went to a lecture where it was stressed Spring is the best time for big new goals. Many of us have more energy as things bloom and animals come back into action. In Minnesota it is easier to travel in Spring. Some of you may have experienced the skating rink roads on Saturday, if your goals involved getting out of the house it would not have worked very well. Spend winter time in evaluating and planning your life and new big exciting goals. Ramp up your action in the Spring!