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.
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.