Updated: Aug 16
Yep, it is that time of the year where we make a lot of promises to ourselves for what we are going to be doing differently for the next 12 months to effectuate change in our lives. For many of us, it has become a common ritual of habit setting that usually is over before the President's Day Holiday. For others, they crush their New Year's Resolutions aka promises to themselves.
We all know why some succeed and some don’t. The difference between success and failure is simple, if you follow through then you will achieve whatever you have set before yourself to accomplish. If you don’t follow through, the inverse is true, you will not succeed.
I think the problem is not necessarily motivation, rather I believe the problem with the lack of follow through on your New Year’s Resolutions revolves around our priorities. Be honest with yourself. For most of us, heading into December of 2019 we found ourselves fully occupied with personal and professional tasks that left us with little bandwidth to do anything else. So, when we hit January, we still have the same limited bandwidth but now we are also indicating to ourselves that we will make this promise or resolution that will place another task on our to do list.
My suggestion for accomplishing your New Year's Resolutions is to incorporate them into your current lifestyle and not make them something completely separate.
For example, let’s say you want to get into shape and come up with a New Year's Resolution that you will eat better, improve your aerobic endurance and strength train. Okay, so what is your next step?
For a lot of us, it may be that we will limit our caloric intake to 2250 calories a day while also ensuring we track our macro-nutrients to the gram, perform interval training 4 times a week at various paces on different machines, and start a double split bodybuilding workout where we go to the gym 5 days a week.
Or you could have the same resolution but incorporate it into your existing lifestyle. So now you have the same goal but the approach is different. For example, if my goal is to improve my health and fitness I will start to pack a healthy lunch for the office, sneak in extra walking by parking further away from the office building and taking the stairs, and will go to the gym 3 evenings a week to do a thirty minute circuit training session.
The above illustrates two ways of starting a New Year's Resolution but which one do you think would be easier to maintain? I would choose the latter as an approach because its simpler as compared to the other one. Although I have one caveat, if you have a really focused goal that is burning inside of you and its something you will stick with for the year, go for the highly specific steps to achieve success. I did this some years ago when my goal was to do a 100-mile bike ride and I had ten months to prepare. I was successful at accomplishing this goal because I was super motivated. However, this is not the norm for me or most people.
For most of us, I think incorporating New Year's Resolutions into your daily lives is a better way to ensure you meet the objectives you set before yourself. While I don’t have any specific wholesale changes I am seeking this year, I have identified several areas in my life that I want to tweak and improve upon. You can use these for yourself or create your own, the important thing is that whatever you choose, it is something important to you and something that you can achieve.
Okay, here are my New Year's Resolutions (aka Parker Life Tweaks):
Family: I want to be more intentional with the time I spend with my family by ensuring that I am not multiple tasking during our time together. Family time will be a focused period for us to be together.
Fitness: I plan to continue working out three days a week but will increase my cardio 10 minutes every two weeks until I reach an hour in duration.
Fun: I will continue to perform Comedy Improv and take Comedy Improv Skill Modules to improve my craft.
There are other things I could list ranging from finances to faith but for me, these are the ones I am focusing on now and as previously noted, these are things I am already doing so I just need to tweak my approach.
I hope you gain more focus in 2020 and achieve those resolutions/goals/objectives you have laid be yourselves. Here’s to the beginning of an awesome year for you!
Have a great week!