Keeping the Resolution Challenge [Day 5]

The good thing is, you’re nearly done. You nearly have everything in place for keeping your New Year’s Resolution rock solid and on the path to success. The bad news? Bad news always follows good news, doesn’t it? — Life happens. Obstacles pop up, your good intentions get thrown to the wayside, and you fall off the bandwagon. Often times, getting back on it is harder than staying on it.

So, today we are going to fortify your actionables from yesterday with a solid plan to work around them.

Get out your crystal ball, for it’s time to predict the future.

We all know it’s impossible to predict the future, but you can predict some basics. For example, if your goal is to “get in shape”, which requires going to the gym, you’re going to have to plan to make to the gym. So, what do you do in inclement weather that prevents you from driving? You have a few choices:

  1. Go early in the day if your schedule allows.
  2. Workout at home.
  3. Adjust your weekly schedule and go the next day.

The important thing is to find a way to keep yourself from falling down that slippery slope of excuses.

Easier said than done, right? 

excuses1Sometimes what you need is willpower, sometimes you need the tools and knowledge. The visual you made for Day 1 and Day 2 are designed to help fortify your willpower, while Day 3 and Day 4‘s activities are designed to help give you the stepping-stones, tools, and knowledge you need to make sure you can stay on track. When these start to falter, more often than not all you really need is a battle plan and a support group to cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Your battle plan largely depends on what you need personally. Take a step back and think about those strengths and weaknesses you noted in Day 2 and explored more in Day 3. Look at your motivation and how it relates to those. Take a moment to list your weaknesses out. Those will be the first thing you have to find a way to battle against.

I’ll use weight loss as an example, because everyone can relate. And, it also happens to be my #1 goal this year. My weaknesses are as follows:

  1. I cook like my grandmother — I don’t measure, just estimate. This makes calorie counting hard.
  2. I love a good chocolate sweet, and I usually crave a piece of high quality chocolate a few times a week.
  3. I have lots of physical ailments that prevent me from working out like a lot of fitness websites recommend, and it is excruciatingly painful to run every day.
  4. I gave a busy schedule that makes working out difficult at best, stressful at worse.

These, clearly, are a detriment to my goal. It is where I will find the most excuses to avoid actually doing it. So, this is where I focus my battle plan at, and I’ll use my strengths (logic, solution finding, math, working hard) to help me.

Excuse: It takes too much time to measure. Retaliation: Measuring will give you calorie counts so you can make healthier meals for the long haul and meet your goal sooner.

Excuse: I don’t know how to measure grandma’s recipe. Retaliation: over pack the measuring cups, put in what you need, and measure what’s left. That will give you a close approximation to get the numbers for.

Excuse: I couldn’t possibly give up chocolate. Retaliation: Then don’t. Make sure it’s high quality chocolate you really enjoy and indulge in just one piece when you really want it. Then, enjoy it without regret as long as you add the calorie count to the total.

Excuse: My feet are killing me! Retaliation: Go slow. Swim or do yoga and stretch.

You get the point. 

excuse2For every excuse there is an appropriate retaliation against it. You know yourself well enough to know what normal excuses you can come up with, so come up with counterpoint to each one. Add these to your visual so they are always there when you need them. Then, take pride in every time you succeed in being stronger than your excuses. You deserve it.

Need help coming up with responses to your excuses? Ask your support group. Ask your accountability partner. Ask your community. This is what we are all here for.

Finally, enlist your support group’s help to stay true to your goal. Don’t just ask them in a vague way, but give them an actual cue. Something like, “Hey, can you make sure I check in every Saturday to report how well I’m doing on my workout goals?” This allows them to know exactly what you need them to do to help you succeed.

Here’s your checklist for this phase of the challenge. We’d love to hear your excuses and retorts (or help you find retorts) so toss them in the comments!

Resolution Challenge Day 5

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about the last piece of the puzzle: Getting back on track and rewarding yourself for a job well done.