By now, we’ve accepted that whatever grandiose plans we made on January 1st are not working out. But we are not alone. According to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail, and most people lose their resolve by mid-February.
Personally, I’m sure that my inability to shed those 10 pounds is due to my increased time working out. Every woman knows that muscle weighs more than fat… right?
Actually, I wonder if women are just cursed in the weight-loss department. It seems like men skip a snack or two and they’re down five pounds. Years ago, when my husband and I went on one of those no-carb diets, he lost 12 pounds in one month, despite eating a bagel every morning. I rigorously stuck to the no-carb diet and lost all of one pound.
I think those disaster movies have it all wrong. They always show an even distribution of men and women after whatever apocalypse has occurred, with the starving masses living in the shells of urban skyscrapers, the men wearing grimy pants and shirts, and the women, for some reason, clad in dirty but formfitting miniskirts and high-heeled boots. I guess that’s why my husband watches those movies and I don’t.
In fact, since women go into survival mode when we are starving, if we really do have one of those apocalypses, we’ll probably have a surviving population heavily skewed towards female. So a more apt disaster movie would be along the lines of “Real Housewives of Shantytown” or “Mean Girls of Terra Nova.”
But I digress. The matter at hand is how to turn those January resolutions into March reality, and the way to do that is by rethinking our goals. The famous American preacher Peter Marshall, who served as Chaplain of the United States Senate, and therefore knew a thing or two about failure, said, “Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”
We had a story about just that by Kimberly M. Hutmacher in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book about getting in shape. After many unsuccessful attempts to lose weight, Kimberly said, “I realized my goals were always too demanding and I was inadvertently setting myself up to fail.”
She decided to set “a small, manageable goal” instead, resolving “to walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes at least five days a week.” The next year, Kimberly again made one small resolution, to drink less soda and more water. And the year after that, Kimberly merely decided to eat fast food only once a week instead of two or three times.
These small changes were eminently doable, and Kimberly lost 20 pounds over a couple of years, and more importantly, became more fit. According to her, “By keeping my goals small, I was able to follow through and sustain each one for the long haul.” No wonder her story was titled “Resolution Not Revolution.”
Where do you stand on your New Year’s resolutions? Have you considered setting up smaller, more attainable goals? Do you really care about weight, or is it fitness you’re after?