Post # 1
It’s that time of year when people start thinking about New Years resolutions and setting goals for the upcoming year. We’ve all been there – you get all eccited and think you’re about to change your life, only to revert back into your old habits by mid-February. After this happens a couple times you get jaded about the whole concept of “New Years resolutions” and either stop setting them or stop taking them seriously.
I think the main issue with resolutions are that people try to bite off more than they’re ready to chew. And we also frame them as goals that need to be worked toward.
What if, instead of “working” toward an end goal, we commit to making little changes that add up over time? What are some “little” changes you have made, or want to make, or have thought about making? How easily can these be incorporated into your life without it requiring much effort or thought?
Myself, I’ve been trying to remember to take the stairs instead of the elevator more. I take the stairs most mornings and typically if I go out at lunch.
I’m also trying to get into the habit of taking exercise breaks during the work day. When I start to feel sore and achy or bored, I try to find interesting ways to move for a few minutes. Things like going up and down the stairs a few times to get my heartrate up. Going out into the hallway or stairwell and stretching for a few minutes. Even just standing up at my desk and stretching my legs a bit.
I’d like to start doing more of that kind of thing going forward, so my “resolution” this year is going to be to take at least one mid morning, one afternoon and one lunch break that involves being away from my desk, on my feet and moving in some way for at least 5 minutes.
Post # 2
This is exactly what I try to get my clients to do. Maybe one person in a million can wake up one day, decide to make a drastic change, and commit to it for any meaningful length of time. For the rest of us mere mortals, we need to set small, realistic goals, and increase them over time.
Seven years ago I started using the exercise bike at my house twice a week for 30 minutes. Since then, I have gradually built up to working out 6-7 days a week, lifting weights and doing HIIT. In seven years I have never “fallen off the wagon”, not because I’m a paragon of self-control, but because there was no wagon for me to fall off. I have had weeks where I wasn’t able to workout as often or as intensely as I would normally because I was busy or sick or down, I’ve had holidays when the extent of my exercise was whatever activity we were doing that day (even if it was just flipping the pages of my book), I had my tonsils out which meant I had to take two weeks off any exercise and a month off high intensity exercise, but I always come back to working out, all because I started small and built up slowly.
My current small change is stretching for at least 5 minutes a day. If I want to do more, then I will. If not, then that’s fine. I’m not quite sure what, if anything, this will build up to. Maybe seven years from now I’ll be a bonda fide yogi. Or maybe I’ll just enjoy the physical and mental benefits of taking some time to move my body in a way that feels good to me. In any case, I’ll be much more likely to maintain this because I haven’t pressure myself to make a dramatic change overnight.
I think your new resolution is wonderful! With my clients that have really struggled to make small changes in the past, I would break it down even further to starting with one 5-minute session once a day, and building up to three. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you let go of the expectation that change should be drastic and immediate!
Post # 3
perpetuallyplanning : I love your attitude! Also it reminds me of this article I read recently that basically calls our the whole concept of “willpower” as bullshit. It’s a great read!! The gist of it is that people who seem able to resist temptation aren’t exercising better willpower, they just construct their lives to have fewer decision points where it’s necessary.
Post # 4
I don’t really make new years resolutions. But I do have regular lists of goals for myself. Here are some my general goals:
– Get back into cooking more. The last year has been really busy and so I’ve been less creative in the kitchen, and have fallen into ordering takeout more than I ever did before. Making time to cook a new meal is something I really enjoy, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment and novelty even when everything else is routine.
– Plan more dates with my husband. Things have been busy and we haven’t been making as much time to go on intentional dates. A lot of our free time together is spent cuddling and watching shows, which is great and all, but I’d like to institute a once a week date night. I’d also like us to make more of an effort to try new things together, even if that’s just a new restaurant.
– Practice my foreign languages more regularly
– Read more for pleasure. I read a lot for my work and I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading much for pleasure. I want to get back into making that a regular part of my routine.
– Exercise for 30 mins at least 3-5 times a week
– Meditate for 20 mins daily
– Aim to respond to personal emails & texts more promptly
– Make an effort to call a friend/family member at least once a week
– Plan a friend date at least once a month
– Waste less time online. Be more intentional about how I use free time (e.g. read a short story rather than read internet forums)
Post # 5
YES! Last year on Dec. 26th I committed to make a lifestyle change. I was 33 and my kids were getting older and I knew I needed to start working out and eating better.
I learned to run and started lifting weights. I also learned about calorie counting and portion control. Over the last year I have lost about 30 lbs (putting me into a healthy BMI- yay!)
I have weeks where I dont go to the gym or eat more indulgently becuase life gets hectic, but overall I am just a more healthy person with better habits. The change has stuck and I cant see myself ever going back.
It helps that also in the last year I fell in love with a bodybuilder who is super fit!!
Post # 6
I think it’s safe to say for most people, quitting or starting something cold turkey usually doesn’t work or is temporary.
For me, it’s more important to think of things from a broader perspective. In case of my health/weight if I feel I’m gaining weight, feel lazy or lethargic, I know I need to be more active or start watching what I eat more. My husband and I watch we eat M-F and are more relaxed on weekends.
I also really think it’s important to connect with people. I am an extrovert and I get a lot of my energy that way. I make it a point to talk with people at work, do date nights as much as possible and reach out over the phone to family and friends.
Mentally, I don’t think a lot of people take a break as much as we probably should. Taking a bubble bath, reading or just meditating a little can help a lot!
I think if you think about everything as a balance it’s easier to make little daily changes than to focus and change just one area of your life.