I have never been a big fan of New Years' Resolutions. After all, most of them are forgotten by the time the Super Bowl rolls around. I noticed it at my gym this past 3 weeks. The first week of January was packed, no matter the time of day. The second week was a little less so. Now it's just about back to normal.
Setting these resolutions seems to set us up for failure. I think perhaps it's the mindset. We put too much pressure on ourselves. Then we beat ourselves up when we have the first hiccup. Sometimes that causes the second one. You know the one I'm talking about.
"Well, I ate that bag of peanut butter M&M's yesterday so I might as well have an extra piece of that cake my co-worker brought in"
"I haven't been to the gym since Monday. Now it's Saturday. Might as well just forget about it, I've already failed".
Those are pretty powerful words. Failed. Failure. I suck. I'm terrible at this. I just ate my body weight in sugar. Blech.
Seldom do we get back up, dust ourselves off and keep pushing. The mind is a powerful thing, especially when it's beating the crap out of our self-worth.
However, I think goals are very important. Especially when they are set up to be attainable. Looking back to August (which really has come to be known as a significant time for me), I did set those goals up and I realize now that I set them up so that I wouldn't feel bogged down in impossible dreams. I don't know if I realized that I was doing it at the time. I was so desperate to succeed though, and I knew that in the past that I've not succeeded so I wanted to try something different. Something I hadn't done before.
One thing was that I wanted to lose 8 pounds in 60 days, which is just over 8 weeks. Jamaica was my big motivator there. I had to wear a bathing suit and I wanted to feel comfortable in one and I knew that I didn't at the time.
The second goal was giving up soda. I told myself that if I made it through the first 7 days, and I wanted one that I could have one.
The third goal was to try and cut back on packaged and processed foods.
My last goal was a big one. I really really wanted to be a good role model for my girls. How could I tell them NOT to drink soda if I was drinking it? How could I explain why fast food is bad for them while I was eating it myself?
Then I looked at these goals and told myself to take them one day at a time. It wasn't easy. In the beginning I found that I wanted to give up pretty early on in the day. So I realized that I needed a way to ground myself before my busy day with the kids began. I would put out some clothes at night, plus my shoes and some socks and a bottle for water right on my dresser. Before anyone else would wake up in the morning, I would head out with my iPod and a bottle of water. I walked. I sorted out my goals in my head. I would think about the previous day and how I wanted to improve upon the things that I ate. I would clear my head and watch the sunrise. I hadn't really watched a sunrise in years.
Mostly I would think about my kids, and the example I was setting for them. My resolve would reset for the day and I would come home feeling strong and ready to face the challenges of the day.
I think if I were really honest, I'd have to say that these walks were what got me through those early weeks of junk-food detoxing. I'm so thankful to my husband for being supportive of that routine, even on the weekends when that meant he would have to get up with the girls while I finished walking.
I haven't been on an early morning walk in awhile. Mostly because I'm chicken of the cold. To this day though, a good solitary walk really helps to ground myself when I'm having a rough day.
By the way, I never did drink another soda.
I have set some new goals for the next 6 months or so. I plan to use some of the tricks and tips I have found work for me to attain those.
- Start running. I've been really working on strengthening my hip and leg muscles so that my knees will have a better support system. My knees have always been my excuse for not running in the past.
- Learn my way around my newly vegetarian kitchen. Rely on dairy and cheese less and less as I learn about alternative protein sources
- Try to help other people learn more about healthy, clean eating.
- Try my hand at gardening.
- Continue to rely less and less on packaged foods for my family, involving the girls in this process.
Have you set up any goals for the year? How are you doing on them, and what are your steps for reaching them?