Do you ever wonder if anyone has ever eaten an entire elephant? (Is that even legal? Not that I think it would prevent someone from doing it if they wanted to.)
Anyway, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about New Year's Resolutions, and so am I, but I’m still going to talk about them.
Most people don’t set small goals for New Year's. It’s never “I’m going to read a book,” or “I’m going to eat an elephant steak.” Nope. They want to eat the whole elephant. I encourage you to do that, and in fact, I'd like to help.
Get more specific
Whether it’s reading, losing weight, or exotic animal consumption, it’s time to nail down your goal. How many books do you want to read? At what time of day will you set aside time? Will you start with a shoulder or loin? Fried or sous vide?
Set a minimum daily quota
Think about the smallest or easiest thing you can do to make progress toward your goal, e.g. taking a walk, reading a page, or eating a bite.
Whatever you choose should be so manageable that you can do it even when you know you’ll be pressed for time, out of energy, or otherwise unwilling or unable to move forward that day. It’s a way to take a break when you’re burnt out or your schedule is uncooperative.
Plan B, Plan C, Plan D...
Take some time now to come up with a few things that might trip you up along the way this week--changes in your schedule, special events, spontaneous interruptions, or just plain laziness. Some of them will be easier to plan for than others.
When you have thought of everything possible that might get in your way, create an If-then statement around each one. This will give you something to fall back on when you’re fatigued, low on willpower, or when life just gets in the way.
Here are a few If-then statements I created for myself to plan around workout barriers:
If I wake up late, then I will go in the evening.
If I miss a workout, then I will do it the following day.
If I continue to miss morning workouts, then I will go directly from work.
If I really don’t feel like going to the gym, then I will work out at home.
What can you come up with on your own? Taking the time NOW to mentally overcome setbacks will give you far more power to break through them in the future.
That’s it. Three easy things you can do now to keep yourself on track beyond January. What’s your elephant this year? Leave me a comment and let me know.