Wednesday, February 24, 2010

.resolutions and revolutions: part 2.

The block of granite which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.
Thomas Carlyle

A follow up to my Resolutions post! We're about to hit the two-month mark. How many of your resolutions have you kept? Are you at the gym with the rest of the newly-resolved-to-have-a-model's-body-herd who're cooly watching a TV or reading a magazine while they hobble on those ellipticals? Or maybe you're hard-core and you've hired a personal trainer. Have you vowed to have less stress in your life or promised to make more time for yourself? Are you really volunteering more? Either way, some people, many people, will hit a point in the next few months where their resolutions falter and inevitably old habits conquer new resolve.

So here are some things I've learned that might help keep you strong to achieve your resolutions.
1) Don't make any--that completely defies my last blog. In fact we shouldn't even count this as an option...

1) Be accountable--have a buddy who has the same resolution so you can work on it together or just tell a friend and ask them to pester you incessantly about it until you hate them or have finally internalized your resolution. (Remind yourself why you asked your friend to be your accountability buddy so you don't take their persistence personally.. after all, you are your own asshole.)

2) Have a plan--prepare yourself for the long road that resolutions are! Habits take on average 21 days to become habitual... prep yourself for intense habituation in the next 21 days and then prep yourself for the next 3 months... the next 6 months... the next 12 months... Imagine your workout in May, then your jogging path in  August, etc. Stay focused on those goals. It's easy to plan for the next week at the gym but when you visualize long term goals, you'll be less likely to get discouraged after a week where you couldn't stay on track.

3) Details--include the details into your plan. Don't just say you'll eat healthier and then stuff your face with a deep-fried chip drowned in high-fructose-corn-syrup-dense ketchup and expect to believe that's your last one damnit! Make a list of healthy foods you want to incorporate into your diet. Examples? Sweet potatoes, asparagus, dried fruit, quinoa.... then plan a few recipes around these healthier foods and make a goal you'll make these recipes at least 3 times a week until it gets easier. If your goal was to volunteer more, think of groups you'd like to be more involved with. Then plan for one day a month to work with them. If your goal was to be more organized, start with something small where you can really focus on the details of organization--a small planner, a more organized purse, a more organized desk. In fact, just cleaning all that shit out of your life is a great start.

4) Visualization!--visualize those key moments when you will implement these steps. Imagine yourself in past situations that led you to be inpatient... then imagine how you could have played this scenario differently, less impatiently. Store this little memory clip away for future potential bitch moments and you might be able to keep yourself patient next time.

5) Mantras--Cool easy mantras can be really helpful. My favorite that I have used for the last few years is 'Never settle'. This mantra has helped me with my dating life (and I didn't settle, did I?), my professional life (blog on professional advancements to come soon) and my everyday choices. (Some other good mantras I use: Keep learning! [I hate being ignorant about things so I continually try to learn--my problem right now is retaining all those things]; Do everything 100% [this one helps me with CrossFit]; and Be fair [when I find myself in a situation where I would normally be quick to judge someone].)

Hope these tips help in your continual evolution and your progress with your resolutions! Hope you haven't given up on them already... if you have, it's not against the rules to restart the New Year now, ya know.)

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