Here’s a new way to look at new year’s resolutions.
If you have trouble sticking to your goals, this could be the answer!
Instead of making your resolution about the final goal or outcome, focus on the process – that is, what you will need to do to get there.
For example, let’s say you want to get a handstand.
Instead of saying ‘I will get a handstand this year’, say ‘I will spend 10 minutes every day practising handstands’.
The difference is in what you can control.
You have no control over whether you will actually get a handstand in a year. All you can control is the amount and quality of work you can put in to get there.
Many of us are very outcome-driven. We are taught to dream big.
“If you believe it, you can achieve it.”
We aspire to a particular body shape. We dream of a certain level of fitness and strength. We have a person we admire and want to emulate.
These outcomes are all great motivators. Print out a picture and stick it on your wall by all means. Use it as motivation.
But how are you going to get there?
What little things will you do every day to eventually have your dream?
Believing isn’t enough. You need to take consistent action.
Last year, I remember I wanted to start saving properly. I’ve always been terrible at saving money. As soon as I have any money, I want to spend it!
Looking at my finances at the end of this year, I see that my savings are negligible. Why? Because although I put money aside at certain points along the way, I eventually spent it again. I tried to take steps that were too big all at once.
I should have chosen an amount small enough not to be noticed, and put that by consistently. I would not have great riches by the end of the year, but I’d have had more than I currently have.
Instead I’ve been left with nothing to build on and I am starting again.
The same idea applies to strength goals such as a double bodyweight deadlift.
You can’t simply assert that ‘I will get a 2 x bodyweight deadlift this year’. Who knows? But you can say ‘I will train deadlifts twice a week and follow a deadlift strength programme.’
This method gives you a simple task to do every day, or x number of times a week that will get you towards your goal.
Even if you only manage to put 5kg on your best deadlift, that is 5kg more than you had at the beginning of the year.
This is also relevant to body composition goals. Fat loss or weight loss goals can be very intimidating. We may know that our end result is that we want to lose 5kg of body fat, but just the idea can make us panic and lose faith.
However if we resolve instead to eat more green vegetables every day and go to the gym 3 times a week, we can get going on achieving that goal.
You can still think about the end result of course. It can be motivating and inspirational. But it doesn’t always help with the immediate issue of what to do next.
The biggest obstacle in achieving change is not lack of a goal or lack of ambition. It’s lack of the right behaviours to reach that goal.
Resolve to change your behaviours, your habits, your everyday actions, and the results will follow.