It's Not Your Resolution That Sucks, It's Your System
So it's January 5th and you've already given up on your New Year's resolutions. Guess what? It's not your fault. Without a system in place, a resolution might as well be a dream you dreamt up after you guzzled too much champagne the night before. A system is a series of automatic processes or habits that help us to achieve our goals (and beyond).
- Lose 30 lbs
- Keep a water bottle at your desk at work
- Do 10 air squats after you make your bed
- Eat an apple with breakfast
- Track your calories in an app like myfitnesspal
- Take the stairs
So how do you make a system stick? You start small and you track. Pick one daily nutrition habit and one daily movement habit. These habits must be clear and measurable.
Daily nutrition habits can include:
- Eat three servings of vegetables a day
- Drink four bottles of water
- Consume 100 grams of protein
- Track your daily calories in myfitness pal
- Consume less than 1800 calories per day
- Eating one salad a day
Daily movement habits can include:
- Go for a 20 minute walk
- Do 10 push ups
- Go to a workout class
- Take the stairs to your apartment
- Reach 10k steps on your fitbit
- Run 2 miles
Pick two habits that meet you where you are at. If you haven't worked out in months maybe a daily workout class is overly ambitious. Start with a morning walk. If the closest thing you've eaten to a veggie is a large fry then maybe start with just one serving a day instead of three.
Once you've picked your habits. Track them. Grab a calendar from the dollar store, make your own on a scrap piece of paper, or go buy one that fits your aesthetic then slap that sucker on your fridge. Write down your goals somewhere on the calendar where you can see it. Every time you accomplish your daily goals make an X every time you don't make an O. Either you did it or you didn't. There's no grey area. There's no emotion.
With habit tracking, progress is the goal not perfection. Oftentimes when we reflect we only focus on the bad. With habit tracking you can clearly see you only missed say 5 out of the 31 days rather than looking back without clarity and feeling like a failure. This also helps people from going on a downward spiral. Try to never miss two days in a row. One day missed is a mistake but two days missed is the start of a new habit.
Best part is, with daily habit tracking, you don't have to wait to feel happy. Happiness isn't only achievable when you lose 30 lbs. You'll have an opportunity to win every day. Achieving your resolution is just an added bonus.