Christmas is just around the corner, that means it’s almost that time of year when everyone starts asking about all your New Year’s resolutions…”So what are your New Year’s resolutions?” “What are your goals for 2022?” Or, “I can feel it. This is the year to make dreams come true!” Then they start listing off all the things that are going to change on the 1st of January!
January is a really hard month. I mean basically, society suggests that you should stop doing all of your bad habits, turn them into good habits, and double up even on your good habits to make sure that you are being the best at every single thing that you do! AND, you have to do it all overnight from Dec 31st to Jan 1st!!!
If you ask me, that is a lot of pressure for one day, or even a month!
If you know me, then you know how much I absolutely DO NOT love winter. I am always wishing for summer to come sooner. It’s one of the things that I love about spring – it is a sign that summer is coming! A time of rejoicing, for me anyway! Because of that, I love planning my goals to coincide with spring.
It’s all about new beginnings and new growth.
I take some time in January (usually when the kids go back to school – so NOT January 1st!) to plan out my goals. I prefer to plan so that March 1st-ish is when my goals are really in their uber-active state. Last year I had a goal of being more fit for the summer. I planned out some workouts for the mornings. In January of 2021 I started really small. Like 7 minutes small! I had an app on my phone that guided me through a 7 minute workout. I started by doing it only twice per week – that’s a 14 minute per week commitment to becoming more fit! Just 14 minutes! Still 14 more minutes than I had been doing! I did that for a long time. I did it until I actually wanted to do more. Once you hit that balance between your commitment to a goal and your motivation to actually do the work, you become unstoppable. Sometime in February (so, like a month and half AFTER January 1st!!!), I started a new app with an 18 minute ab workout that I did four times per week – that’s a pretty big jump from 14 minutes per week. After doing that for a couple weeks, I started doing the 18 minute workout, plus some weights at home, and I even started a new running routine!
It’s not fair to yourself to change your entire routine and daily life on January 1st. So when people start asking about New Year’s resolutions, it’s ok to say, “I have a 3-month plan to get to where I want to be”. Or even, “I am planning ahead to January of 2023!”
It’s all about deciding what you want, and committing to it to make it happen. The desire and motivation to work at it are secondary to commitment. Sometimes wanting it really badly is worse. Everyone wants everything to happen RIGHT NOW! Instant gratification! But what a let down it would have been if after those first few weeks of January, I decided that my 14 minutes per week were not worth it because I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. It took me into February to even really enjoy and embrace my fitness time. AND it was a goal I actually WANTED to achieve! I would have been disappointed in myself, I would have been harder on myself, I probably would have gained even more weight, and I would have probably not competed in the Spartan Super! Which, by the way, is an awesome and exhausting obstacle course race!
Whatever your New Year’s resolutions are this year, give your body and mind time to find your mojo! Commit to a minimal amount, and once that’s easy, try to do more. Whether it’s starting a new habit or quitting a habit; do it one or two times more or less per week to start. It’s amazing what impact that has over time!
Have fun planning your March-ish/Spring resolutions!