Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Secret to Successful Resolutions: Have Fun!




Remember those New Year’s resolutions you made 10 months ago? Chances are that for most part, you: a) don’t remember them b) wish you didn’t remember them c) regret making them d) are feeling guilty about not living up to them. If you are among the blessed few who actually accomplish all their New Year’s Resolutions, in which case I’m jealous, you don’t need to keep reading this post.

But for the rest of us, here’s the thing: those resolutions, and any other goals you set for yourself along the way, are much more easily and successfully accomplished when you actually enjoy what it takes to get there. An extensive study of a number of different goals, such as getting healthier (exercising & eating ‘healthy’), weight loss, and improved study habits, showed that when people enjoyed the process required to achieve their goals, they stuck with it. Whereas when people, for example, exercised for the sake of better health, but didn’t enjoy the treadmill/whatever else they chose as their method of getting there, guess what? Within about two months, all those good resolutions went down the drain.

Which is terrific news! Because now you don’t need to feel guilty about not succeeding with your New Year’s resolutions or other goals, you simply need to revamp how you go about them.

Certainly, knowing what your desired end result is matters hugely to goal setting. It actually is the goal: losing ten pounds, or firming up that tummy, or getting fit enough to run around after your kids/grandkids, or learning a new language or how to play the guitar (no, not air-guitar!). But having a desired end in mind just isn’t enough to give you the persistence it takes to get there. Not for most of us, anyway. You gotta make it fun!

The secret to fitness, for me, is dance. You can’t pay me enough to get me to jog, cycle or tennis my way into fitness, much less to NordicTrack or go Elliptical--despite all the infomercials that promise it will only take me 20 minutes a day to look like the fabulous models demonstrating the equipment (not even in my dreams!). However, give me a chance to contort myself into ridiculous positions at a ballet barre, jump (attempt to), turn (oy) and leap (sort of) across a dance floor, and I’m there! And I positively revel in the studies that reveal how much dance does for my brain as it shapes up my body.

Choose how you intend to get there as carefully as you choose your goal itself. Make sure you choose your method with having fun in mind. So maybe when it comes to weight loss, for example, enroll a buddy, or your S.O. or whoever else you can corral, sorry--encourage, to join you and make it a game! An adventure in finding the most delicious low-fat low-cal low-carb recipes on earth. Whatever floats your boat.

With that, your chances of accomplishing your goal are excellent. Then, happy and proud, you can announce to yourself and the world at large, “I did it!” Way to go.