If you asked me in July whether I thought New Year’s resolutions were a good idea, I’d probably say no.
But, by the time January rolls around, the compounding factors of late-year nostalgia, the fresh start that is a new year and general peer pressure entice me to make at least a couple resolutions.
It’s actually worked out pretty well over the years.
As far as goals go, my resolutions tend to be the ones that I come closest to meeting. Part of it is the whole idea of a “fresh beginning”.
As Charles Duhigg points out in The Power of Habit, the human mind is most likely to go in for serious change when a major life event occurs or when something else is in upheaval – whether real or perceived.
Basically, if life is already changing a lot, the odds are much greater that your goals will pan out. Major examples of course being child birth, divorce or marriage.
I’ve never been divorced, but when I got married I moved 3,000 miles across the country and doubled my income in three months, and when I had a child I bought a house and converted my freelance business into an LLC.
So, this seems to be doubly true for me.
Anyways, 2013 is already shaping up to be a big year, full of changes and new opportunities.
The big GLS overhaul is in full effect and that means quite a few changes just in how I work each day, how I interact with clients and how I scale big projects.
Scary stuff.
But at the top of my list for more than a year now has been the elusive fitness goal. It’s been something of a seesaw for me.
I joined a gym in April and was doing great until summer when I completed failed and gained 15 pounds. I was doing great again in the fall but alas, another failure and another five pounds.
So, instead of setting a goal that is extremely easy to miss – going to gym can be derailed by anything from waking up late to a light cold – I decided to make it simpler.
100 pushups.
It started with a conversation between myself and Micah a couple years ago about being able to do 100 pushups (maybe just 50, but we’ll say 100 because it sounds much harder).
He claimed it was easy if you took enough time. I claimed it was impossible because…well, it is, and that was that.
This year, on January 1st, I decided I didn’t want it to be impossible anymore. Despite my freakishly long arms and complete lack of upper body strength I made it my goal to hit the 100 mark (in a row!) sometime in 2013.
As of today I’m up to 20 and before you snicker, consider that I started at 7(ish). So, I’m already cruising. At that rate, I’ll hit 150 before December.
Of course, it’s not easy. Getting a cold, for example, makes me incredible lazy (and more than a little whiny) which leads to substantially less time invested in fitness.
Other seemingly everyday events that can completely derail my ambition include not hitting my alarm, bad weather, indigestion, my son’s appetite and just plain forgetfulness.
But it’s going to happen.
This is a very long post with almost no mention of freelancing or home business, but I’m sure you see how it connects.
Goal setting is about more than just perseverance and careful tweaking of habits.
It’s about understanding yourself and what you’re capable of. It’s about generating new strategies when old ones fail and not giving up, even if you fail twenty or thirty times at the same task. Think in different ways, take time to reevaluate what your goals ACTUALLY are and do it all over again.
I don’t know if 100 pushups will get me to the magic fitness point I’ve been aiming for, but I do know I’ll feel pretty damn good about myself when I get there. Isn’t that half the point?
What are your goals for 2013? Are you on pace now are have you already made some changes? What big obstacle is holding you back (or have you kicked out of the way)?