Every year, about this time, folks make resolutions of one sort or another. The most talked about one is obviously weight loss. I think that it's foremost on people's minds because, if they are like me, they've eaten their weight in fudge, cookies, cheese, and little smokies---all in the space of a month. If they are further like me, their holiday eating began at Halloween, not Thanksgiving.
Strangely enough, this isn't really about weight loss at all.
It's about goals. We all set them.
Many, many, many (did I mention, many?) of us do not keep those goals.
We all have reasons. Mine are wide and varied.
The primary reason I don't keep to my goals, is that they are too big.
No one can expect, that on January 1st, they will suddenly give up smoking, eating fatty foods, drinking to excess, biting their fingernails, and spending every evening on the couch.
I don't struggle with all of the above, but many of them.
Every year, I resolve to quit eating white foods and fatty foods. They are the primary factors in why I feel so bad.
Here's a list:
Sugar, flour, potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, butter, cheese, peanut butter, eggs, rib eyes, hamburgers, chips, ice cream and pastries.
While I'm depriving myself of all things wonderful and yummy, I am also trying change another thing about myself.
Or in my case, the lack of it.
I go from couch potato to an hour of exercise every day.
I hurt badly at the end of one week.
I need to see a doctor by week two.
Exercise must be bad for you?
More long-term goals this time of the year for me include:
Stop biting my nails.
Drink 8 glasses of water every day.
Take my vitamins, calcium (ginormous pills by the way!), and I've added a couple more supplements lately.
Really, the list is much longer.
The point is, I fall right off the wagon every single year. Instead of getting back on, and acknowledging that NO ONE is capable of going all year without ice cream or mashed potatoes, I just give up.
The end. Maybe next year. I'm a failure.
Okay, so you get it now. I set unrealistic goals.
I also have this self-talk that goes on in my head that says,
"Geez, just give up. You can't possibly keep this up for a week, let alone a year."
In weight loss circles (I've been a part of a few), it's called the
'What the Hell' syndrome.
Instead of eating something healthy for breakfast, you eat two pastries and a double-something coffee drink at your favorite coffee spot.
Instead of getting back with the goal, there's voice that says, "What the hell, I'm already dorked for the day, might as well have BBQ'd ribs for lunch." That day turns into two days that turns into a week, that turns into giving up completely.
After giving up completely, the "man, you're a mess!" voices start whispering in my ear. Those feelings bleed over into other places in my life.
This year, I hope for a turn around. Here's why.
I'm not setting long-term goals/resolutions. I'm not even setting short term goals.
I cannot fail at something I do not set.
I am setting DAILY goals.
If I happen not to reach all of the goals for that day, it's no big deal. I haven't blown an entire year or month or week. I've just blown that day. No big whoop. No feeling of defeat that lasts the whole year. No self judgement.
My goals each day will only concern self improvement. I don't consider vacuuming a personal triumph, although it could be considered aerobic exercise in some circles.
I will listen to my mind and my heart. I will not vilify food. I will make reachable goals and refuse to beat myself up if all I eat one day is cheetos, diet coke, ice cream, and buttered toast--all while sitting on the couch.
Tomorrow is another day.