We’re 3 days into the new year so perhaps you’ve already begun to implement your new year’s resolutions. Of course, the odds are against you, but I’m sure you know that. No need to be negative, though. Most of us have been here before so we know that setting the intention helps, but all those good intentions tend to get derailed as soon as some inevitable obstacle gets in the way. Goal-setting can be good, but it might be a better idea to take a look at some of those obstacles and see if there is a way to circumvent them. Example: don’t like getting up early for an 8:00 AM class? Try reminding yourself that you don’t have to do it every day. Start with one day a week. When you struggle to get out of bed that day, remember that you don’t have to do it again for another week. Tell yourself that you will only go for a little while. Set a time limit: “I’ll try it for 15 minutes and if I don’t feel better I’ll stop.” Or tell yourself you’ll take a nap as soon as you get home. As I’ve often said, getting out of bed is half the battle. Perhaps even more than half. Once you’re up, you’re already there.
Years ago I taught a 6:00 AM aerobics class. Everyone who came was very dedicated, but also half asleep when they showed up. No one talked at the beginning of class. Also no one paid attention to what anyone else was doing because it was all they could do to get themselves moving. So no one cared what anyone else was wearing. Or whether or not they were keeping the beat or making the same move as everyone else. But move they did in whatever way worked for each person. By the end of the class everyone was relaxed, smiling and ready to meet the day. Sound good? You, too, can feel that way.
How about trying a short-term resolution? Commit to one day a week for 6 weeks. When you complete that, you can make that same resolution all over again. Or perhaps expand it to a couple of days a week or a longer time frame. And if your resolve falls apart, make a new beginning. Here’s a quote from Carl Bard that I’ve always liked:
“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
Bite off small chunks and set yourself up for success instead of failure. Then you can pat yourself on the back and even reward yourself when you achieve that success. If timing is not your obstacle, take a look at what makes you stumble. Explore alternatives. Enlist the help of a friend. Take it slow. Let go of expectations and outcomes. The process is what counts. What you actually accomplish is likely to be totally different from what you expected. Make your health and well-being a priority. You won’t be sorry.