Resolutions–Defying the Status-Quo

Happy New Year! 2013 has been fantastic thus far.
Are you experiencing success with your resolutions? 🙂
Do you even create resolutions? (For the record, I really do not, but with an upcoming move and job transition, I am sort of forced to as I have had to become rather focused and goal-oriented as of late.)
Why don’t I create resolutions to kick off the new year? One simple reason: it’s status-quo. In my mind, the stigma with a resolution for a new year is that it is impossible to sustain and thus doomed for failure. To those of you who have resolved, sustained, and achieved: I applaud you. I believe you are few and far-between.
I have always despised the status-quo. Not to say I was a rule-breaker, but if it was merely a pointless societal norm, I sprinted the other direction. Most of the time I catch on months later–for example, “Call Me Maybe” was a popular song back in the early spring. I cannot tell you how I analyzed that song to death, and as a result of poor grammar on the part of Carly Rae, whom I therefore called “Maybe,” I could not stand to hear it. I have only in the past few weeks decided it’s a cutesy, silly song, and am okay with it.
Despite my disdain for the status-quo, I am at a transition period in my life in which I am preparing to take on a move to Virginia and will be undergoing a slight change in client-type as well as job responsibilities. I will be moving away from family, friends, church, and all the faces that have become familiar over the past year-and-a-half. That being said, I will literally be experiencing new starts in January 2013, and I could not be more excited, nor could I be more determined to succeed in my endeavors. It’s time to put the big girl pants on and be responsible; I’ll be transitioning residency, insurance, changes of address, new friendships, a new church, a new work environment full of people I do not yet know, outside of my employer. Given the geographic change, I will be in a warmer climate, which is more conducive to year-round outdoor endeavors–I have some revenge to take on the AT and a certain Trail Ultramarathon course.

As we all move into and through the new year, I believe there are a few things to keep in mind and questions to continue to ask:
1) Goals are fantastic and can keep us motivated. Are the goals realistic?
2) Accountability is awesome. Have you surrounded yourself with like-minded people who will support you in your goals, or even better, are along for the ride and have set the same or similar goals?
3) You are responsible for your effort. No one else can put it forth. They can encourage you, support you, give you all of the tools you need to succeed, but you are the one who needs to accept the encouragement, lean on those who are supporting you when you need to, and use your resources.
4) There is no guaranteed outcome–if your goal is to lose 30 pounds this year, and you’ve lost 5 by June, what will your response be and what will you do at that point? Do you bail and go back to old habits? Do you celebrate those 5 pounds and change your goal? Do you become more determined and make positive changes because, quite frankly, 6 months is a long time? Is what you are doing sustainable, or do you plan to return to old habits and thereby return to your old “self”?
5) “Sustainable changes” does not mean drastic changes–but it can. What is sustainable for me may not be sustainable for you. If you are an all-or-nothing person, drastic change might be a possible to sustain. If you tend to take things on in moderation, drastic changes might not be the way to go. Your best bet is to take one behavior, or at most two behaviors, and commit to them until they become habit. Most of the time, if it isn’t easy or convenient, people will not stick with a behavior. If it’s difficult, find a way to make it easier. What would make these changes easier for you?
As a personal trainer and group exercise instructor as my chosen career path, I spend a lot of time in the gym setting. Some days I am really amped to be there, some days I am not. It does not mean that I’ve chosen the wrong career or that I don’t like exercise and people, it means I am human and experience life’s ups and downs like everyone else. I know the importance of exercise and preach it daily, but some days just do not feel up to the challenge of training/working out. To be quite honest, some days there are only two factors that will get me to the gym for a workout, because a heavy lifting, high-intensity interval, or indoor cycling workout are simply not appealing (this is especially true if I am not feeling like superwoman):
1) I am paid to lead group exercise–it is my responsibility to create a beneficial, creative, and challenging workouts for my classes. The fact that I get to do it with them, though I spend the majority of the time keeping an eye on the class as it progresses to ensure that people are doing the exercises properly.  When they are struggling, to offer encouragement or some humor–amazing what that can do for work ethic and attitude.  As an instructor, you have the power of the microphone–you have the power to speak words of life and encouragement: as much as is possible and appropriate, do it.
2) My cycling buddies are there and are some of my favorite people on the planet. I know that I will have to answer for not showing up to Spin.
(I am not advocating taking on teaching fitness classes just so you “have to work out” because the last thing the attendees need is an instructor who is solely focused on her/himself. If that’s why you’re instructing, for the sake of those in attendance, stop. You are there to serve them.)
Review your goals—are you setting yourself up for success? Go through the questions once more for each of the goals you have set for yourself and answer them for each. Develop a clear plan of action for accomplishing your goals—and plan for what you will do if you experience setbacks as well.

I wish you all the best and challenge you to defy the status-quo resolution failure by accomplishing your goals–they happen with each moment-by-moment choice you make. This moment is yours to live–live it well.

*Sarah

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One comment

  1. Mary Freeman · · Reply

    Sarah,

    Didn’t know that you will be moving for a new opportunity! Congratulations. While we haven’t seen each other as much the past few months, I have really appreciated your attitude about life, fitness and health. I wish you the best of luck, and hope to have a chance to see you before you leave the Y!

    Warm Regards,

    Mary

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