Foolproof way to sink the ship: S.S. Resolutions

It never fails. New Years’ arrives and we all start thinking about turning over a new leaf, making a few resolutions. Even if we’ve never kept one yet, maybe this will be the year, we think. Maybe it will. At least if you avoid this one pitfall that sinks many a resolution: too much of a good thing.

By that I don’t just mean too much chocolate, wine–or food period–even though some may be good. I mean picking a strategy that, while a good idea, is too big a stretch for you. My daughter Holly, a fitness coach, told me today about someone who was sure she could get the lean body she wants by doing an intensive video workout every day for the next 3 months. There’s no question she could–if she actually did the workout for 90 days. Holly tried to point out to this woman that the gap between her current level of activity (lifting popcorn to her mouth while watching movies on the couch) and this intense video was just too big.

We all know what we need to be doing to get the results we want. But even though the reasons we’re not doing those things may be excuses, we have to acknowledge that something is in the way. We’ll do better to make a small change that we can and will commit to and let ourselves grow into the bigger change.

When I first started doing something about getting fit, I committed to a once a week workout of intensive weight training. For several years that’s all I did. I got strong, which probably helped keep my weight under control, but I didn’t lose weight because I wasn’t yet ready to commit to diet changes. Eventually I was able to add those changes and then I got the results I really wanted.

Think about what your goal is and then decide on one small, achievable, measurable step you can take to get closer to that goal. You want to stretch, just not so far that you snap right back like a rubber band that’s been stretched too far.

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