Reduce time spent on social media. Evaluate and fine tune my work. Downsize stuff. Volunteer more. Live a healthier life. Become a better version of myself.
I’ve laid my cards on the table. Stripped down to my slip. Bared a weakness or two.
Just don’t call them New Year’s resolutions. That will seal their fate.
I call them adjustments. To. My. Life.
And I’ll need a healthy dose of perseverance if I want to succeed, says psychologist John Norcross. He says we most often resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, get more exercise, and reduce our alcohol consumption, in that order, as we ring in the New Year.
“It’s not enough to say ‘I want to lose weight and exercise more’,” adds Norcross. “You need a plan that addresses how you’ll reach these goals.”
If I want to make significant adjustments to my life, I’ll need to plan my course of action.
Psychologist Paul Marciano offers seven key ways to achieve your goals:
1) Make your goals specific.
2) Measure your progress.
3) Be patient.
4) Share your goals with friends and family.
5) Schedule it.
6) Something is better than nothing.
7) Get up, when you slip up.
I’ll be the guinea.
I want to be healthier. A couple of numbers should change. This past fall I decided I would commit to more exercise and healthier eating. I joined a healthy living program; I began to walk and revisit the “Y” with a friend.
1) Make my goals specific. I need to work toward a healthier weight. Committing to a healthy living program was an important first step for me. I set five pound goals for myself. It’s easier to reach five pound goals than say, a goal of 250 pounds (which is NOT what I am working toward. Just telling a story here…). My friend and I set the goal of exercising five days a week.
2) Measure my progress. Keeping my goal in mind helps me commit to steering clear of the good stuff, I mean the less than healthy foods. I measure my progress by weighing against a baseline, and tracking what I eat and when I exercise.
3) Be patient. We all know lasting changes take time. (I just need to be reminded when the scale doesn’t move as quickly as expected).
4) Share my goals with friends and family. Most of them are interested and supportive. (If their eyes glaze over, I know not so much). But having a couple of people aware of my efforts strengthens my resolve and reinforces my sense of accomplishment. And, knowing how helpful it is to have that support has helped me realize I need to be better about supporting the efforts of others!
5) Schedule it. For me, that means planning. I plan for healthy meals and schedule exercise throughout each week. When life gets in the way, I’m learning to adjust. And reboot.
6) Something is better than nothing. Sometimes it’s hard to get up before everyone else, which means I may occasionally have to cut my exercise time a bit. But at least I got up and did something!
7) Get up, when I slip up. Says it all. I’m an adult. I know that success doesn’t come without work.
I’ve several other adjustments I want to make, and I intend to plan for them as well. I’m in the process of evaluating and fine tuning my work. I’m analyzing the time I spend on social media. As I’m the chair for a Chamber event, I won’t commit to more volunteer time for now, but I will learn about opportunities that may be available after the event. Next quarter I will begin to downsize my stuff. About that “better version of myself.” That sounds like a big one so it may have to wait for a couple of months…don’t you think?
Do you have adjustments you’ve considered? Are you an aspiring photographer or chef? Do you want to learn to swim or to paint? Do you want to spend less time watching TV? How about your past plans to organize the basement or garage. Do you want to find more time to read? Have you thought about starting your own business, or learning another language? Do you need to organize years and years of family photos? Do you need to live a healthier life?
Well, get to it! Let’s compare our progress in a few months!
How about sharing a few of your adjustments in the comments section. Just don’t call them New Year’s resolutions…
Making adjustments. To. Your. Life.
“New Year’s Resolutions, 1 Month Later,” Kathleen M. Zellman, MPH, RD, LD, www.webmd.com (feature stories);
Changing for Good, John Norcross, psychologist, University of Scranton;
“7 Secrets of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions,” Kevin Kruse (author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs), Forbes, 12/26/16;
“10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Career,” Forbes, 12/29/18;
“New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Last. Try This Instead,” Naz Beheshti, executive wellness coach, consultant, and contributor, Forbeswomen, www.nazbeheshti.com;
“7 Easy Changes to Make in 2019 Instead of Hard-to-Keep New Year’s Resolutions,” Lindsay Dodgson, 1/03/19, www.thisisinsider.com;
“6 Life Adjustments for a Purposeful Older Age,” by Stephanie Raffelok, www.sixtyandme.com;
“Your 2019 Do-Good Calendar,” United Way of Greater St. Louis, www.stlvolunteer.org;
“50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas and How to Achieve Each of Them,” Ivan Dimitrijevic, 11/01/18, www.lifehack.com.
It’s time to kiss the ThighMaster goodbye! www.alwaysaboomer.com/blog.
Whenever. Whatever. We. Choose. www.alwaysaboomer.com/blog.
Reboot. Retirement. Whenever. Whatever. We. Choose. www.alwaysaboomer.com/blog.