Caught up in the festivities of the New Year and a fresh start, it's easy to declare a resolution December 31st and by January 2nd deny such a statement escaped your lips. The culprit to un-kept resolutions can be as simple a reason as: a.) you're a lazy sloth, b.) there's no real motivation behind you, or c.) you've decided you don't actually want to learn to speak Cantonese. Well here's to a new year and a new approach to setting and keeping your resolution (or resolutions for you ambitious folks)!!!
One of the few things I took away from my college degree (yes, I'm bashing on Western) is the SMART training tactic, which is generally an acronym used in setting fitness and weight loss goals but can pretty much be applied to any genre of goals.
So here's the breakdown of SMART:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Timely
What This Means:
For this example I'm using the most common New Year's Resolution known to man...err, or should I say, woman: "To Lose Weight!"
Specific - To say you want to "lose weight" could mean any amount. Replace the word 'weight' with an actually number. Also, I'll assume this isn't a game to you and you don't want to just temporarily "lose" the weight but you'd like to keep it off also, right? Good!
Measurable - This right here is the key to your motivation. For example, if your specific goal is to lose 10lbs in 2012, a measurable goal would 1/2lb a week. This leads us to my next point.
Attainable - One pound is 3,500 calories. This means to lose a 1/2lb a week you'd only have to consume 1,750 calories less a week - which is only 250 less a day. For many of us that's as simple as giving up our Grande White Chocolate Mocha (gasp!!!)! This can also be attained by burning 250 calories more a day - which would be more like running 3 miles (suddenly giving up that mocha doesn't sound so bad does it!) Or you can team these concepts up and consume 125 calories less (treat yourself to a short) and burn 125 calories (walk to Starbucks). Finally, once you've reached your goal weight, you need to maintain it. This means not reverting to your old ways of driving thru to get your Venti Extra Lard Latte. Makes sense?
Realistic - When setting your goal, make sure your heart is in it. Ask yourself - Am I truly ready to make this commitment? Am I prepared to dedicate the time and energy essential to making this happen? If you aren't able to answer yes to questions such as these, make the necessary changes above before moving on.
Timely - Set a timeline. Using the breakdown above to lose a 1/2lb a week means that in 20 weeks time, you should be scootin' 10lbs less booty through those Starbucks doors. When it comes to weight loss, this is very reasonable. Most people can safely lose up to a pound a week. Any more than that and one risks causing harm to their bodies and gaining it back later - but that's Trainer Angie speaking now and since she usually charges an hourly rate that's all she's going to say about that.
So, ready to kick 2012 right in the tenders?
Here's a peak at what my 2012 New Year Resolutions are:
#1. QUIT THE GYM!!!
Don't roll your eyes, hear me out. My gym sucks. It's too small, has too little equipment and too many Meat Heads (what gym doesn't?) and at $60 a month for Peter and I, it just isn't worth it. We paid our last month's fees upfront so with the money we'll save from cancelling now and the money we would spend in the next couple months to come, I can acquire and create a home gym that by March will cost us nothing!
#2. DRINK MORE WATER.
In college I made a game out of how much water I could drink a day. I'd fill my backpack with 4 water bottles each morning and aim to drink one during each class. My intentions were two fold; one, to be healthy and hydrated, two, the more I had to pee the more I got to miss class. :) Now a day's I'll get a headache and think to myself, "I must need more coffee" but really, I need more water.
#3. READ THE WHOLE BIBLE IN A YEAR
This is actually a challenge initiated by our small group leader and with great enthusiasm received! Through the encouragement of Des Moines Gospel Chapel (and God's, Peter so smugly reminded me) and the reading plans provided (they even send daily emails!) by http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/ Peter and I have committed to read the whole bible through in 2012.