Thursday, January 03, 2008

So you say you want a resolution?

It's that time of year again.

The gyms are full, the fast food joints are slightly less busy and folks everywhere are trying to live healthier.

For many folks the resolutions are quite general,

"I'm going to lose weight",
"I'm going to exercise more",
"I'm going to eat better"
While there's nothing really wrong with any of those resolutions, I'd argue they're great intentions crafted far too broadly for long term success.

The answer?

Be specific.

The more specific you can make your resolution the better and make sure that the resolution has the "how" in it as well. You might think ok, I'll make my weight loss resolution more specific and say,
"I'm going to lose 15lbs"
and while that indeed is more specific in amount (though you know I don't like numerical weight loss goals), it still doesn't address how exactly you're going to do it.

Here's an example of a specific fitness resolution,
"Everyday when I get home from work I'm going to take a 10 minute walk"
Here are a couple of eat healthier ones,
"Before I buy anything I'm going to look at the food label and I'm not going to the supermarket without a shopping list"
Here are a few weight loss ones,
"I'm going to keep a food diary for at least a month to start looking for calories I can lose without missing them"

"I'm going to eat every 2-3 hours and will set alarms and reminders to help me do it"

"I'm going to include protein with every meal so as to minimize hunger"

"I'm going to eat within half an hour of waking and have at least 350 calories for breakfast"
So you say you want a resolution?

Don't forget the specifics and the hows. Oh, and keep it simple. Small steps might get you somewhere - flying leaps tend to land you on your face.

Happy New Year