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Dec292017

Quick Tips to Stick to Your Resolution

And just like that, 2017 winds down and makes way for a brand new year. While some would argue that making resolutions at the start of the year is dumb, I am actually a big fan of them! During the final weeks of December, I really enjoy reflecting on what I’ve done well in 2017 and where I could improve in 2018. I mean, is there a better moment to say “Man, I could cut down on the sugar next year…” than when I’m shoving the second piece of chocolate peppermint cheesecake in my mouth?

Seriously, though, I love making resolutions. However, like most people, they tend to fall off come late January. After much thought and some light research, I’ve come up with a plan to help keep those resolutions far past winter. I hope after reading this you are able to pull from this article and make impactful changes this year!

Outline Major Goals

These include your typical resolutions like lose weight, save more money, spend more time with family, etc. Think of these as the goals that cannot be accomplished overnight. Rather, they are more like lifestyle changes.

One of my goals is to eat better. It’s a very broad goal but I know it’s important to me. However, this will require some planning in order to pull it off and make this a consistent habit in my life. Throw me in the ocean and tell me to swim and I’ll stay afloat for a couple minutes. But, with practice and planning, I might have a chance to survive until rescued (or eaten by sharks!)

Small Steps to Hit Major Goals

After you decide your major goals, you need to determine what small steps and milestones you need to hit. This is critical in keeping your resolution alive. If your goal is be able to run a 5K, it’d be easy to say “Okay, I’ll run more each week and be ready in a couple months”. You might hit the treadmill a couple times in January. Come February and you’ve forgotten what your resolutions were!

A better approach is to realize where you are now and what needs to happen to get you to that next point. In the above example, maybe you are new to running. Calendar out the days you can hit the gym and also how far you want to go. Monday evening will be a .5-mile jog followed by a 1-mile walk. Then, Friday morning will be a .75-mile jog followed by an up-tempo 1-mile walk.

For my eating better goal, I’ll plan out my meals for the week on Sunday morning. Then, I can hit the grocery store and stock up for the upcoming week. I know I will not eat healthy 100% of the time. In fact, that would be kind of awful! But, if I know that my weekday meals are healthy and simple to prepare, I can look towards the weekend to have some cheat meals (cue buffalo wings with some hoppy hard cider!)

Reflect Weekly

As the weekend winds down, take a look at how you’ve progressed this past week. If you are calendaring your small steps, simply see how you did. This should help dictate how the next week goes (or month if you aren’t micro-scheduling). Missed a beat? Ask yourself ‘why’. Determine what roadblocks popped up and how you can (hopefully) avoid them.

Moreover, celebrate the small victories. They are the ones that will add up to the larger goals! If I ate healthy during the week, yes, I will enjoy those chicken wings and a glass or two of cider come Friday night. Did you hit all your scheduled workouts? Pat yourself on the back and find a small way to celebrate!

At the end of the day, a resolution can only be fulfilled if you put in the effort. Setting and forgetting are all too common. List your goal(s) for 2018 and determine the smaller steps you can take each day/week/month to help achieve. If you can calendar or journal it out, even better. It’s about seeing a clear path to that goal and holding yourself accountable. If you mess up a day or week, guess what, it’s not the end of the world! Reflect then get back to it. You’ll appreciate it even more at the end of 2018 as you look back at your accomplishments.

 

Cheers!

-Erik

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