Tuesday, January 01, 2013

You Say You Want a Resolution...

Happy 2013! It's a new year, time for a new start. Around this time, we often pause, even if its just for a moment, to reflect on the year that's passed and to make plans for the year to come. I like taking time for some self-assessment, but I rarely set formal resolutions. How about you? Do you make any grand resolutions to start the year? If so, what are you resolving to do, not do, or do differently in 2013?

I like to think of myself as a goal setter rather than a resolution maker. For me, a list-maker by nature, goals should be:

1) Written down. If I don't keep a written list, I'm more likely to deviate from a plan. I also like being able to check things off, make changes, and add notes for the time duration of the project for which I am setting goals (and let's face it, new year's resolutions are just another project!)

2) Realistic. Sure, we all want to do a lot as fast as possible. But resolving to be a size 0 in three weeks is never going to happen. Setting unrealistic goals results in frustration and discouragement. It's better to make smaller goals (like losing 5 pounds in two months) that you can actually complete.

3) Broad in scope, specific in detail. I don't like setting goals like "Lose XX Pounds." Instead, I would resolve to "Focus on Healthy Choices." Under that heading, I would include things like eating better, striving for 5+ servings of fruit and veggies each day, exercise 5 times a week, getting enough sleep, taking my daily vitamins, etc. Weight loss is a benefit of these things, but it is not the only goal. You have to celebrate the small things that go into greater success. You can't underestimate the importance of little victories.

4) Flexible. Life happens, so there's no point in beating yourself up if you slip up along your journey. A slice of birthday cake, an unexpected shopping spree, or one too many martinis shouldn't derail you. We're not perfect (thankfully....perfect is boring), so perfection should never be your goal.

Whether you make resolutions or not, I hope 2013 is a great year for us all!

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