It is about this time of year that I have forgotten about New Year’s resolutions or given up on them and feel guilty that I was not able to fulfill those resolutions I made just four short weeks ago.
Why have always found that these resolutions were not going to work long-term and were just going to leave me feeling guilty for failing myself over my own commitments to myself?
The answer to my failures in behavior modification is that I fail to recognize that behavior modification requires much more than a statement of wishful thinking. I truly typically underestimate what I am up against in a resolution to lose weight or read more books or watch less television or initiate an exercise program or manage my day to become more productive.
I once read that to change the way I looked physically was to put a picture on my desk of a person who looked the way I wanted to look. I picked a picture of a soccer player. The person was lean, muscular, tanned, and had a trim body type that I envied.
I imagined or perhaps hoped that somehow the image of the person in the picture would give me the motivation to eat and exercise in ways that would produce the body that I sought. What I failed to recognize is that the person I picked as the model of excellence was a professional athlete whose career not only allowed but required hours of exercise and his diet was perhaps even professionally tailored to suit his career. Reaching the goal of looking like that professional athlete was perhaps in my reach but not without major lifestyle changes.
I worked in an office, so my career required burning very few calories and did not allow for me to spend much time out doors. My diet was often tied to family meals that were not necessary planned for my fitness. I suppose that it was good to have an image of my goal but that image really had no value without the lifestyle changes that result in my reaching my goal.
So how was I to go about making a lifestyle change that would enable me to reach my goal of looking like a professional soccer player? The answer that I came to was to accept that I probably never would look that a professional soccer player, at least not that soccer player. I could perhaps become leaner, more muscular, and more trim than I was at the time, but to illustrate how reality plays a part in understanding goal setting, I have fair skin. The soccer player in the picture, as I said, appeared to be tanned. My skin will not tan to that color.
The other fact is that becoming trim for me does not come easily. Adding muscle and fat comes easily. Nutrition experts have begun to recognize that not only does the human body come in different types; different human bodies burn calories differently. As one article I read recently stated, the human body is not a bank account, but a chemistry lab.
So I am now beginning a series of articles on the process of being extraordinary by “Moving beyond Resolutions to Lifestyles Changes.”
“The World’s Most Noble Headhunter!”