We are so hard on ourselves. Too often, it does nothing but leave us feeling defeated. This is especially true as a year is ending and a new one is beginning.
Well, what if it doesn't have to be that way? What if the path to big personal victories of health and fitness is paved with little victories? What if small adds up to big? Instead of setting the impossible bar, I challenge you to set up the achievable bar. And once you reach that, set the bar a little bit higher. Keep at it like this, and before you know it you have reached heights you did not know were possible.
Your co-workers will of course notice when you've lost 20 or 30 pounds, but before that happens you have to lose the first two or three. So it's OK to start that small. "In 2012, I resolve to lose those first 2 to 3 pounds before Valentine's Day." Small adds up to big.
Maybe you want to run a 5k but aren't even sure you can make it around the block. Maybe you've mastered the 5k but want to do a half-marathon. Instead of "I resolve to finish the _(insert race here)__," why not resolve to increase your distance by 5 percent before the end of January? Then, add another 5 percent goal for February. Small adds up to big.
If sodas are your friend, to the tune of several cans a day, resolving to stop drinking them altogether is a lot of change. Why not resolve to cut back by one can a day for a week (cutting 550-700 calories, by the way), and then the next week cut out another can per day. Small adds up to big.
Whatever your resolutions, make them real. Start small, and build. Rome wasn't built in a day, and Badasses aren't born overnight.
Even the smallest of victories are victories. Below, a few "do's and don'ts" for making your list....
Know Thyself: If you hate running, why resolve to finish your first 5K or triathlon? Find something you actually enjoy.
Display It: Keep the list and any related pictures where you'll constantly see them. A visualized goal gets in your head, and that's a good thing.
Share: Telling a friend or loved one about your goal creates accountability. No doubt they'll ask you how things are going in a few weeks, and that might just be the reminder you need to keep pushing through.
Set a Timeline: It's easy to say "I will lose weight," but by when and in what increments? A pound a week for the next 6 months? Five pounds by March? Give yourself a final deadline, and little deadlines along the way.
Mimic your BFF: So what if he's doing a triathlon? If you aren't a swimmer, you're still a Badass if your Resolution involves a bike race or running event.
Make Yourself "Go Big or Go Home": If you eat ice cream every night, just cutting that in half is a big win. You don't have to "go big" and cut it out altogether at first. Especially when it comes to eating, incremental changes are the best way to sustain and maintain healthier eating.
Give up over stumbles: You are human. We all are. That means we're not perfect. We hit snooze. We give in to the cake. We respond to stress by downing a few slices of pepperoni pizza. It's OK. A stumble or two is no reason to throw in the towel on your resolutions. Tomorrow is a new day. Own it.
Coming up: A decades playlist to kick off a new year, and building a home gym on a budget...