April Jeppson: Break down resolutions into smaller goals
Published 9:12 pm Thursday, January 2, 2020
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
It is the season for New Year’s resolutions. Being that the 1st of January fell on a Wednesday this year, I know that many of my friends are starting their resolutions on Monday. So I thought today would be a perfect time to talk aloud about my thoughts on the whole thing.
First off, I have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. The thing I hate is that so often people (myself included) make these huge, lofty goals — goals like I will work out every day or I will give up all fast food and only eat food I prepared myself. Then on day four, you oversleep and don’t work out or you forget to pack a lunch and have to get fast food. You feel defeated and then you give up. Maybe you make it three weeks, but if your goal is large and you have not actually figured out how you’re going to do it on a daily basis, you will eventually give up.
Eighty percent of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by February. Now here is the thing, I’m not saying don’t do it. Remember, I have a love-hate relationship with this. I love this part. I love goal-setting. I love looking back on the previous year and seeing what I did well and where I struggled. I love thinking about the “me” that I want to become. One year from now, 10 years from now, where do I want to be? Where do I see my family? Our finances? What kinds of activities are we doing?
Take those big goals I previously made, at some point I will mess up. When I do, how do I respond? How is my goal set up so that I can bounce back? Old me would mess up and then decide the whole day was a failure and then over the course of about a week I would be completely off the wagon and back to where I was in December.
I have since learned that I need to budget in my failures. I am human; I’m going to mess up. Therefore, when I think about how I want to fit into a certain size jeans, I need to set realistic goals for myself. Things that I will be able to maintain. I look at the calendar and figure out something that is challenging but doable.
The second area I used to struggle with was giving up when the going got tough. I would do well for a week or so. Then I would get to a place where I no longer wanted to wake up early. I wanted to sleep in. I’m tired and I’ve worked out eight times already, I deserve some rest. This was my internal monologue. I read a good book a few years ago called “The Slight Edge.” When I say that it changed my life, I mean it.
In the book it goes into how if we really want to change our lives, we have to take our goal and break it down into daily actions. We need to think about how we are going to fit this new habit into our lives. Often, we are going to have to give something up in order to fit this new activity into our life.
If I am going to work out four to five times a week, I need to figure out when I’m going to work out. For me, most days that means 5:45 a.m. If I need to wake up that early, I will miss out on some sleep. In this case, in order for me to fit into smaller jeans, I will need to go to the gym on a regular basis and that requires me to sacrifice sleeping in. Am I OK with that?
Yes I am.
When I go into a goal or a resolution with all the facts, it helps me to stick with it. I hope that all of you spend time reflecting on how you can improve your life, even if it is just a little. I hope you are brave enough to sacrifice something good for something better. I hope that you allow yourself grace when you will inevitably mess up, and I hope you jump right back at it and keep going until you reach your goal. Happy New Year!
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.