By now, there is a strong chance that the goals you set for the new year have been abandoned. Perhaps you wanted to eat healthy. Perhaps you planned to exercise every day. Maybe you planned on fixing all your healthy shortcomings. Statistically, more than half (66%) have not kept their resolutions after January. So I am going to offer an off the wall, “what?!? You are kidding me?!?” solution.
Aim low. Set the bar low.
When you are making health resolutions, pick a goal that – no matter what – you will keep. I am not saying to stay there forever, on the bottom rung, but start with something you will do. Success is a habit. When you consistently do what you say that you will, the next step has a stronger chance of completion.
Let me share my bottom rung goal. I am not a perfect example, but I have found this works. When I began my exercise habit, my goal was to sit on my bike every day. No matter what, I would sit on my bike. If I rode for an hour. Great! If I propped myself on my bike and peddled in place for five minutes, it was ok. No matter what, I completed that goal. Eleven o’clock at night? Completed. Five in the morning? Completed. It was eye opening to me to see what my biggest obstacle was. I would never have seen it, if I had not been consistent. (My biggest problem was the fact that my schedule did not allow me to exercise at the same time every day – as odd as it sounds, I had to let that go, and it made my consistency easier.) After a time, I was consistently exercising daily, and my lows were 10-15 minutes, then a half hour. Prior to this, I failed at running for 15 years. I kept quitting, and if you would have told me that I was exercising at least a half hour daily, I would have jumped around with a bucket on my head in pure glee at my achievement. I had quit that many times.
So if you struggle with keeping a health goal, I remember a phrase that was used: …direction not perfection. Set a mark that is more than you are doing now. Make it something that no matter what, you will do. And NO MATTER WHAT, complete that goal. Once that is your consistent normal, raise the bar a rung.
Line upon line precept upon precept.
It is also important to take one bite at a time. And set a time limit. Plan on consistency for 6 weeks (or you pick the time), and then reevaluate. Is this a habit that you need? Does it help you? I have done that with eating plans. I try it for about 6 weeks and see. Am I feeling energetic? Is it too much work to maintain? Am I reaping benefits? What can I do to make it more do-able? Health goals are written on paper, not stone. Be flexible, but be honest, not lazy.
If we were perfectly honest with ourselves, we would see we have many, many, many areas to address. How’s your water intake? Are you eating GMO’s? Are your carbohydrates too high? Are you getting enough proteins? How is your weight? How is your fitness? Is your fat content too high? Are you getting healthy fats? How are your sleep habits? Are you taking supplements? ARE YOU OVERWHELMED YET?
Pick one, maybe the worst, but maybe one you can succeed at fixing. Success builds success. Make it a habit. Make it your normal lifestyle, then add another. Forward progress is forward progress. When it comes to health, there is a huge spectrum of areas we can attend to. So instead of giving up, aim low and succeed. Then aim a bit higher, and keep succeeding. Being “perfect” is a lie and is only reserved for God and His ways. Make progress!