Step Away From the Resolutions-Make a Lifestyle Tweak Instead

Yup, it’s about that time again.

The time of year when drunken (or not) love is professed, lofty goals stated and unrealistic items wished for.

It may be a few years old, but my post on How to Avoid a New Year’s Resolution Fail still holds true.  Go ahead, go read it.  I’ll wait. Then come back.  I’ll be waiting.

Since that time, there is one more point that I think is truly crucial when it comes time to make a lifestyle tweak.  Or resolution.  Or goal.  whatever you call it, it’s really the same thing, right?

2012 goals courtesy janet wahlquist

Photo courtesy Janet Wahlquist

 

Make your goals, or resolution, or whatever…behavior/performance based, not just outcome based.

Now, what the heck do I mean by that?

Here’s some examples to show you what I mean, and this is one of my goals.

Outcome based goal: This year I will win my class in the Masters division in a local Figure competition.

Behavior/performance based goal: This year I will train and prepare as if I will compete in one Figure competition.  I will choose a date and comply with a nutrition, cardio, and resistance training plan in preparation.  Regardless or not if I actually choose to step on stage, I will reach that date in my best physical condition to date.

So what’s the difference?

In the first example, I cannot control who else is in my class, what condition they are in, the judging, the weather, or the alignment of the stars.  There are many factors that are not in my control that will affect if I can achieve that goal.  In the second example, each one of the items mentioned is strictly within my control (excepting any unforeseen injury, of course.)

Just for grins, here’s another personal example.

Outcome based goal: This year I will improve my time in a metric century (cycling terminology for 62 miles, 100 kilometers)

Performance/behavior based goal: This year I will follow a properly periodized cycling and resistance training program to increase my average speed and power on the bike

The difference between these 2 examples is that there may be a hellacious wind on the day of the metric, which is entirely possible here in south Florida and could absolutely affect the time it takes me to complete the distance.  That would certainly affect the outcome, but not the process I completed to get there, which is really the important part anyway.

Take care of the process, and achieving the goal take care of itself.  Without completing the processes and behaviors day in and day out, the goal(s) will never get achieved.  (Unless you find the goal fairy, in which case please give her my email.)

fairy courtesy cassie_g

fairy courtesy cassie_g

Also, as much as possible, make your behavior based goals these 5 things:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time Bound

I’m not sure if that’s what the person who came up with the SMART acronym had in mind, but that’s what I use it for.  So, instead of saying “I will drink more water” say “I will drink 3-4 liters of water daily.”  Or, instead of “I will exercise more” (let’s say your exercise is exactly nothing at the current time) you may not want to set a goal of hiking the Grand Canyon.  Maybe start with “I will walk around the block once after dinner every night, and by the end of the next month I will go around twice.”  See what I mean?

Don’t get caught up in the resolution hoopla.  Decide to make changes, whenever you feel as if you are ready to give yourself the kick in the rear you need.  ’Cause really that’s the most important part, not the date on the calendar.

If you’d like to share your lifestyle tweaks, feel free! If you’d like some assistance in tweaking your tweak to make it SMART, leave it below and we’ll help out.

If part of your tweaking involves a healthier spin on your gluten free life, there’s lots of resources on Gluten Free and Fit 101 that can help.  Have at it.  

Even with all that, Happy New Year!!

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  1. LisaB says:

    Erin-
    Thanks for posting this. Outcome-based resolutions are steeped in the black-or-white, all-or-nothing thinking that practically dooms them to failure. Seth Godin said, “You don’t need a new plan for next year. You need a commitment.”
    Heck to the Yes! I’m sharing this all over the place.

  2. Erin says:

    Awesome, thanks for sharing and stopping by, Lisa! Love that Seth Godin quote also. Life can be very many beautiful shades of grey :)

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