Fail Proofing Your New Year Resolution

I have to admit… I love new year resolutions. I see them as basically an imaginary “better me” button that I metaphorically press in my mind when the clock strikes midnight. It’s the sheer thrill of having an opportunity to progress and do something that matters to you that makes them so exciting. And really, who doesn’t love starting something new? The problem is being able to finish strong or finish at all, even if you have to crawl your way to the finish line. The issue I’ve always found in new year resolutions is that there’s too much magic in them and not enough grit. They’re something pretty to think about, but not so cute when you get crackin’, ya know? I think that’s where most people get stuck and discouraged. They see themselves crossing the finish line, laughing and jumping for joy, picture perfect without any sweat, when in reality, crossing that finish line took waking up at 5:00am about four days a week with eyes that could barely open and body feeling like a sack of potatoes. I’m not trying to kill the magic and wonder of a resolution for you, believe me, that’s my favorite part, but I can’t write about how to have a fail proof resolution without preparing you for what’s ahead. Anyways, putting in the hard work is way more pleasurable and encouraging if you’re working towards something that is meaningful to you.

And that’s step one to a fail proof resolution: Is your resolution meaningful enough to make you want to continue it for an entire year? If not, make it meaningful! Think about it and write down all of the reasons why your resolution matters to you, others, and even to your community. Ask yourself, why does this matter to me? How will this be of benefit? What would my future look like if I actually accomplished this? Motivate yourself to want to complete this feat!

Step two of the journey is to grab some accountability partners, ideally people who believe in you and would rather walk across a desert barefoot than allow you to throw in the towel. I owe all of my wins to people in my life who have pushed me through all of my annoying and incessant excuses. Because believe me, you will have excuses. Every great resolution comes with a grand excuse. “I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. I’m tired.” Which leads us to step three…

Step three of a fail proof resolution is to create a plan with room for all of your fears, worries, and excuses. Take the time to map out your course for the next year in terms of how you plan to execute your goal. If exercising is your goal and time is your excuse, work out a regiment that accounts for your lack of time, whether it be waking up an hour earlier to hit the gym or removing something else from your schedule to make room for your resolution. If you hit a bump in the road, no big deal. You already planned for it!

Step four is all about your mentality. Your resolution will fade away into the abyss if you don’t think about it the right way. Perfection is impossible, so don’t expect to live out your resolution perfectly, that’s just setting yourself up for failure. Think progress not perfection. If you happen to skip a week of exercise, put it behind you and keep it moving, perfection isn’t the goal anyway.

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