Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Plan to fail your New Year's resolutions

Photo credit: EvelynGiggles (Flickr)

Yes, you read that title right. I said plan to fail your New Year's resolutions.  I'm not trying to be a pessimist. I am trying to be a realist here.  First of all, if you have a detailed plan for your New Year's resolutions, then good for you.  I truly believe that the skill of planning is a must when it comes to making lifestyle changes.  When most people plan, they tend to be quite optimistic with their plans.  They enter their plan-making with the best of intentions.  They're going to do P90X workout5 days a week in the evenings.  They're going to eat breakfast and take their lunch to work daily.  As a dietitian, I do hope those plans work out.  At the same time, I know that a lot can happen in a week or even in a day and stumbling blocks will arise.  Neglect to plan for these glitches and getting back on track is much more challenging.

So how do you plan to fail?  Well, you need to have a plan, so start there.  After you finish detailing your best plan, look for holes.  Play devil's advocate with your plan by asking questions, like "Where could my plan go off track?" or "What will be the biggest challenge?".  Cross-examining yourself in this way will help you strengthen your plan as you come up with your own suggestions on how to handle these potential pitfalls.  These pitfalls are often times the very things that end up completely derailing someone from their ultimate goals.  So arming yourself with some alternative strategies or addressing your potential barriers will definitely give you a boost of confidence and help you more effectively accomplish your long-term goals.


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