I hate the idea of New Years Resolutions. Every year we vow to do a million things that we think will change us. And, every year we look back on the last and see what we didn’t really make happen, and decide that this year will be different. This year things are going to change once and for all and we’re going to become fluent in Italian, take an art class, raise the perfect children, and of course, lose 15 pounds and become a walking billboard for swimsuits. It’s all just too much pressure to do in one year really. And for some reason we make these grandiose claims like we’re some sort of superheroes that can go from not speaking a word of Italian to becoming fluent. And on top of that we think that we can do the other 3 things on the list too. I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked there’s only 24 hours in a day. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t strive for things. You most definitely should. I just don’t think that you should put such an “I must or else…” attitude on it.
You need to set yourself up for success, not disappointment, and that’s why I think we should start a “Fitness Bucket List” instead. This is a list of things that you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Maybe you like the idea of running a marathon, but aren’t ready to do it. Instead of putting that down as a resolution for this year (who are you kidding, really…), put it on your bucket list, and then set a goal this year to run a 5k. That’s so much more manageable and will get the momentum going for running longer distances. And then maybe 2 years down the road you’ll have actually become a runner and the idea of going the full 26.2 miles won’t seem like such an impossibility.
Most of the time we quit things because it gets too hard to handle. And the reason it gets too hard to handle is because we put too much pressure on ourselves from the get go when we really should have been more realistic about our abilities.
The other great thing about a Fitness Bucket List is that it sets us up for a long-term mindset of living a healthier lifestyle. Resolutions always seem to be something that you accomplish once to check it off your list, but it has no staying power. For many who see a resolution through to completion end up slacking off after they’ve accomplished it. And then you know what happens? It goes right back on their list next year. And that only makes you feel worse. A Fitness Bucket List will keep you moving forward.
Here are some tips on creating your list:
1. Nothing is out of reach, so write down everything and anything that comes to mind (you can always erase things later).
2. Keep it positive. Instead of writing “get down to 130 pounds”, write down things that will help you get there, such as working out 3 times per week or getting 7 hours of sleep a night.
3. The word “fitness” relates to every aspect of your health, which means anything that you think will help create balance in your life. If that means taking more “me time” or doing something that you’ve been afraid of, then so be it!
4. It’s not set in stone. Remember that you can always change the list, so don’t be worried about writing what you really want.
5. Nothing is out of your reach. Many people say “I’m not a runner”, and to me that’s crazy. You might not run right now, but you can if you want. And you don’t have to log 20 miles a week to be considered a runner either. You just have to run.
6. Write down what YOU want, not what you think you should want, or what everyone else is doing.
7. Choose things that will empower you, not make you crazy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and hear some of the things that you put on your list, so please share!