Lifestyle Changes, Not Resolutions

This is the “I’ve already not kept my New Year’s resolution” time of year.  I’ve never liked New Year’s resolutions for the following reasons:

  • I’ve never been good at keeping them.
  • It is too much to make a big change on the first of the year.
  • I always try to do too big of a change.

And what if I don’t keep my resolution?  It’s too easy to tell myself to wait until the next year to make a change.

What I do like are lifestyle changes.  Perhaps it’s just semantics, but a lifestyle change is more permanent to me.  I can choose to make one at anytime and then continuously work on it until the change is complete. If I slip a couple days, I don’t write it off for the rest of the year.  I look at what happened and adjust what I’m doing.

The lifestyle changes I’m currently working on are my eating and exercise habits.  Since X-man arrived, both habits have slipped, and both are essential to keeping the rest of my life running smoothly.  I decided I needed to focus on these habits in November.  If I were a New Year’s resolution person, I would have missed a couple months of progress waiting for January 1st to arrive.

Throughout my day I think about my lifestyle changes:

  • When and how will I workout today?
  • What should I eat – fruit or Christmas Godiva chocolate?  (Note: the chocolate was awesome.)
  • Am I really hungry or just bored?

It’s not a sudden change made at the turn of the clock, but a continuous change that I adjust as necessary.

Working to stay fit with J at a mud run in California!
Working to stay fit with J at a mud run in California!

As I write this, I haven’t worked out in four days due to travel and X-man being sick.  But I don’t feel like I failed – I just need to get back on track (I’m dressed for CrossFit right now).  If I had a made a resolution to workout everyday, I would have already failed and may be more likely to give up.

That’s why I like the wording of “lifestyle change” better than “resolution.”  I feel like failure is likely when I make a resolution, but I feel like I can continuously work toward success when I’m making a lifestyle change.  Of course, I could make excuses and not continuously work on these changes.  But I know the consequences, and that keeps me motivated.

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