Some definitions from a resolve or determination; the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

That is some pretty strong language.  Many of us tend to shy away from making such strong statements, and even if we do make new year’s “resolutions”, it’s usually more of a broad statement rather than a specific resolve that includes a reasonable plan.  I have stopped making resolutions in favor of a different approach:

  1. When I want something to change in my life, I start on it right then and there, without waiting for Jan. 1
  2. Change is gradual and in its own time, especially when it pertains an attitude, deeply held belief, or ingrained habit
  3. A clear picture of the end goal helps me to figure out the steps to get there.  Sometimes, it’s just constantly recalibrating towards the goal, other times, it involves specific actions
  4. Forgiveness of myself when I mess up, and my husband when he fails to support me, helps keep it positive
  5. By often considering what about the change is important to me, I keep better focus and persistence for changing it for the long term.

Two months ago, I joined a gym.  Of course, joining a gym was the easy part (point 1 – why wait?).  On my fridge hangs this picture (point 5 – why is it important?).  BackpackingMy goal is to do that in the future with less pain. The way to achieve that is to work out 3-4 times a week (point 3 – end goal and actions). 

A few weeks ago I was recuperating from a cold and had not even driven by my gym in over a week.  I knew I wasn’t strong enough for a hard workout, but realized the most difficult part was to get to the actual gym itself – the longer I waited, the bigger that obstacle would become. My small step that day was to pack a gym bag, walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes, and then hang out in the whirlpool and sauna for another 15 (point 2 – small steps).  Doing that made it easier for me to head back two days later and have an actual workout.  I haven’t had to forgive myself too much yet, but when the day comes that I stop going for reasons other than a cold, I’ll work on point 4.


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