Have you joined the millions of Americans who declared 2021 as their year to…
- lose the weight
- change the diet
- exercise daily
- drink less alcohol
If so, awesome! Your intentions are in the right place. Health IS important so it makes sense that every year the vast majority of New Years Resolutions are health related (with losing weight being at the top of the list year after year).
Two tips to help your resolution succeed:
#1: Focus on the system, not the goal.
Rather than having a goal to lose a certain amount of weight, create a system that points you at that outcome and then work the system.
Systems are actionable. You can feel daily satisfaction knowing that you’ve shown up for yourself consistentlly without letting your progress (or mood) get derailed on that inevitable day when your weight climbs a pound or two.
By contrast, narrowly focusing on your goal pushes your opportunity for happiness and satisfaction out into the future (one day… when the goal has been reached) rather than inviting it in at every step along the way.
Examples of systems that support healthy goals:
Turning off the tv/avoiding screens at a set time nightly.
Tracking carbs or calories or steps.
Setting aside a specific time slot every day for deep breathing, yoga, or meditation.
Making the commitment to only eat when seated at a table.
Drinking a minimum amount of water every day.
You get the point. Any of these could be used in service of your goal. But each of them is independently actionable and can be tracked as a way to measure your commitment and progress. If you keep showing up for yourself by doing the work of well-designed systems, your goals will come. But there’s no need to hit the finish line before you celebrate.
#2: Connect your identity to the action.
When your identiy is attached to a specific choice, your follow through is a given.
Here’s what this looks like in the real world: rather than “going on a diet,” which you’ll only go off of at some point, my suggestion is that you BECOME A PERSON WHO PASSES ON DESSERT. Rather than training for the office 5k (and returning to your couch the day after the event), BECOME A WALKER/RUNNER.
One approach is finite and offers waning results. The other will carry you forward for the rest of your days.