I wanted to write this blog post about New Year’s resolutions a month ago. Well, obviously that did not happen.
I don’t know about you… but I am going in 10 different directions at the same time. Life is hectic these days. I think we make it that way. We have our families, our kids, our professions, our spouses, our friends… oh yeah… ME… to take care of. We’re supposed to eat 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day, exercise 5 days a week, sleep eight hours a night, meditate, cook dinner from scratch, look great, have a well-manicured lawn and all the other things I haven’t even mentioned. God, I’m tired, just writing about it.
At the start of a new year, we devise some lovely resolutions. We think “Here’s my chance to lose weight or exercise every day or quit smoking or save money”. By April- (maybe sooner) our New Year resolutions are mere memories of what could have been. Don’t get me wrong. I think it is necessary to set personal goals (health related or otherwise) and work hard to accomplish them. But, I also think we set the bar way too high.
What happens when the goal is too big?!?! We don’t reach it and we fail. Here is an example. I tell my clients who never work out- Let’s set a realistic goal: 60 minutes a week. Yes, I know that is not what is recommended, but aiming for 300 minutes a week, can be extremely daunting for someone who doesn’t work out at all. Sixty minutes over 6 days a week is just 10 minutes a day. Hey, that doesn’t sound too bad at all! It is much easier to accomplish. Sixty minutes a week of exercise is better than zero minutes a week. Sometimes you just have to get the ball rolling, figuratively and literally. As time goes on, you can add more minutes. Increase to 15 minutes a day, etc.
My personal goal for this year…. to do better and to be better. I am grateful that I can do this every day. It doesn’t need to be January 1st to make it happen. One of my all-time favorite movies is “What About Bob”. I quote it all the time! Bob Wiley (with the help of Dr. Marvin) practiced taking “baby steps”. If you want to be healthier; try taking some baby steps. Have a healthier breakfast, cut back on your daily soda intake or add vegetables to your lunch. As time goes on… make these positive choices more often.
Another favorite quote of mine “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
So, my last bit of advice- forgive yourself for not being perfect today. Tomorrow is a new day. Aim to be better than you were today.