By Tammy Parkinson, CPT, ACSM, NASM, Nutritionist, Body Firm Personal Training & Nutrition
I’m all for this. As you might know, I write down my intentions for the year every January. It grounds me and helps me gain insight and direction as to how I’d like to focus my energy and attention. I openly encourage my clients to do this (in their own way) as well…I deeply believe we need to write down what we want for ourselves in order to envelope these intentions into our lives and create the year (and beyond) we want.
So often, though I hear folks worry about the perfection and potential imperfections of setting goals. Many people seem to be afraid to commit to “New Year’s Resolutions” because they have “failed in years past” and don’t want to claim their goals out loud; some won’t even write it on paper…even if they are the only ones who see it. They worry that if they don’t complete their goal (sometimes with absolute perfection) then they have failed, so they don’t want to even try; for fear of letting someone (mostly themselves) down.
Another perspective is if we never move forward, then that is failure…we stay in the “I wish I would have” doorway. If we move forward, we try and we complete 50% of what we obtained, then we have not failed…we’ve improved 50%!! That’s pretty incredible.
Let’s say you want to become a vegetarian, but after 2 weeks you decide you love fish and can’t live without it. In the process though, you probably learned a different way to eat, cleaned your body up a little, adding in some more vegetables and realized fish …really GOOD fish, is amazing! That’s an accomplishment!
Let’s say you vowed to run a 10K by February 15, but you started to run and got shin splints, so instead you could safely only complete a 5K. You’re frustrated because you signed up for the 10K, invited friends to do it and thought you’d lose 10 pounds in the process; but instead, because of your limited movement only lost 3. Guess what? You are running 3 more miles than you were in December…you’ve lost 3 pounds and inspired others to run. You have inertia and are well on your way as long as you heal.
Then there’s the games you want to watch your kids play. You decided to go to 4 games a week (in December it was more like 4 every 2 months). Then work got in the way, traffic jams, your shin splints needed attention and hurt, and so on and you are consistently making it to 2 games a week. Instead of feeling disappointed, you should feel proud that you are making 8 a month! That’s quite an improvement over December’s numbers!
It’s important to get grounded and have direction. It’s important to enjoy the success and acknowledge the accomplishments of what we HAVE achieved…big or small. The success is getting going. The failure is in not trying, but achievement is moving in the right direction…what’s right to YOU. This, is a resolution worth writing down.