New Year; New You. Not. So. Fast.
Did you know that the fitness business is counting on you, maybe not you personally, but the typical person, NOT going to the gym to fulfill that New Year’s resolution? That’s right, the business model for membership based gyms counts on most people to get discouraged, give up, or just never follow through. New exercise plans, new diets, new jobs, new semesters at school or just starting a new decade…we’re always starting something and taking the chance that the future will be better than today.
Whether it’s fit by February or earning six figures in six months, those “big hairy audacious goals” that are all the rage with self-help gurus can be hard to execute and live with day-to-day. So we burst forth from that workshop raring to go, watch that YouTube video and begin ruthless de-cluttering, or start our January with a list of resolutions OR one giant goal that’s already making us nervous before Valentine’s Day. Am I suggesting we avoid resolutions, change, and personal improvement goals? No. What I do suggest is that you (as I often tell students) “stack the deck” in your favor. Take the steps to make it more likely that you will make those changes.
Don’t allow someone else to set your goals or make your resolutions. Starting a new year with a list of shoulds passed down from someone else is a sure way to feel disconnected from your goals and ensure that you lack the commitment to push through when it gets tough.
Do a review of your life and values before making plans for the next step. It’s important to have a deep understanding of your talents and challenges before trying to make changes in your work or lifestyle habits. Will you need professional help or expertise? Will you need extra emotional support? What changes really matter most to you?
Make sure your resolutions can pass the best friend test – something I mention in The Solo Workday and have asked clients to use for years. Is this endeavor something you’d ask your best friend to do? Are the expectations you’re about to place on yourself something you’d require of someone you loved?
Resolve to do better; start a new life in the New Year. However, remember to mix in a bit of realism and self-care with those ambitious goals. And...if you're not ready today, then start tomorrow.