Re-Thinking Your Goals to Fit Your Lifestyle
We're about to start the fourth quarter of 2013. How have those New Year's resolutions been holding up? Have they stuck? Or did they get off the bus about three stops ago?
According to numbers published last year in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 46% of people maintain their resolutions for more than six months. And quite honestly, I'm a little shocked, because the number is higher than what I would have expected. So, if you are one of those people: Congratulations! I admire your dedication and commitment - it's not easy.
For the rest of us, who had a harder time sticking with it, I say: don't fret, the fall equinox is here, and it's a great opportunity for a new start. There are two equinoxes each year, the spring equinox around March 20 and the fall equinox around September 22. They are the only two days in which day and night are almost the same length. They mark the start of new seasons and also symbolize balance and the opportunity for a new beginning.
So, with that in mind, I'm not going to give you a whole "this is how you set resolutions" spiel, but I will share with you two things that have helped me not give up with some of my goals this year.
New Year's Resolutions Be Dammed!
Yup, I said it. There is no good reason why you should not be able to start working toward a new goal at any given time. I do understand the significance of starting on the New Year, but sometimes that makes it an excuse to only have one shot at success. Take advantage of the fall equinox as your date of significance and give your goal(s) another go. If a couple of weeks later things aren't going so well, then your next date of significance can be Monday (the start of a whole new week). Don't give up! Not only can you accomplish whatever you set your mind to, but you owe it to yourself.
I started this year thinking that I was going to be in the best shape of my life come June. When that didn't happen I didn't let myself get down - I might have been a little annoyed with myself, but that was it. What I did was find another workout that motivated me and kept me entertained. So, now I'm boxing.
It's OK to Modify Your Goals
So you were planning on going to the farmer's market every weekend, making meals from scratch and making your own yogurt while you were at it? I commend you, but I bet that on top of all of that you also have to juggle family, friends and work. So don't set yourself up for failure. If trying to achieve your goals is driving you a little bonkers, maybe you should re-think them a bit and modify them so that they can better fit your lifestyle. At the end of the day, the idea is that your goals will help you have a better and happier life (and a stressed-out you is neither of those!).
Here are three of my goals and how I modified them:
- Original: Better control my sweet tooth by cancelling ALL sugars.
- Modified: Better control my sweet tooth by only trying to eat a little bit of dark chocolate here and there.
- Original: Work out 6 days a week.
- Modified: Work out 4 to 5 days a week - and I better give it my all during my one-hour workout.
- Original: I'm getting older and don't need any extra calories in my life: namely alcohol.
- Modified: I need to live a little and I do enjoy wine. So, a glass of wine here and there won't kill me. And yes, even on school nights.
Readers - How did your New Year's resolutions hold up? Are there any goals you would like to re-start soon? Will you use the Fall Equinox to get going on them? Are there any goals that you could modify to better fit your lifestyle? How will you modify them? Would love to hear from you on the comments section below.
Follow Luz on Twitter @luzplaza