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Elephants and Resolutions
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I’m not a fan. Never really have been. I believe we often set ourselves up to fail with our New Year’s Resolutions: I’m going to lose 20 pounds this month. I’m going to exercise every day for the next 365 days. I’m going to always be on time to drop the kids off at school. I’m going to make a green smoothie every day.

All these commitments would probably be great additions to our lives. Unfortunately, we often formulate goals for ourselves that are unrealistic. Basically, we bite off more than we can chew. And we find ourselves failing.

So should we just skip them entirely? No.

But coming up with realistic, do-able goals can create an atmosphere where success isn’t just possible but likely. And I love likely success.

For me, step one is to determine where I currently stand in relation to the resolution. If I use the “green smoothie” idea, I need to figure out how often I am currently making these trendy and healthy green smoothies. Never? Once or twice a week?


Secondly, I analyze those times I have been successful. On my “green smoothie days” did I have an alarm set for when I wanted to make one? Did I shop for all the right fruits and veggies at the beginning of the week? Did I precut the ingredients so it was easier to put together?

Lastly, I need to make a plan that incorporates a gradual increase/change to my current situation and that includes the steps I’ll need to truly be successful. This plan should also include a time in the near future when I will reevaluate my success and make a new plan by starting back at step one. We’re not trying to last a whole year, just trying to be successful for a short period of time with each plan.

For example: I currently consume one green smoothie each week. My biggest problem seems to be forgetting to buy the ingredients. So I’m going to make a list of smoothie ingredients to add to my Sunday shopping list. Then I’m going to shoot for having two smoothies per week. I will reevaluate my plan at the end of the month.

This end of the month evaluation becomes incredibly important. A lot of the New Year’s Resolution hype will be over by then, and it will be important to take an honest look at how successful I have been. And to allow myself a little grace. I may find I’ve done great and want to increase to three smoothies per week. I may find I don’t even like the crazy drinks! Or I may find I was partially successful and would like to give it another try. But regardless, I’ll need to create a new plan for the following month.

As the old saying goes, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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