As difficult as it is to believe, January is upon us! Counting today, we only have THREE days left until we ring in 2013. I don’t know about you, but it seems like we were just ringing in 2012 a couple of months ago, right?!
Naturally, this time of year generally means most of us are taking a look back at how we’ve done over the course of the year that’s ending. We take stock and see if we accomplished the things we set out to do. Once we’ve finished that, the next natural step is to start looking toward the bright & shiny fresh New Year that awaits us on the other side of the big ball drop on Monday night.
For a lot of people, this time of year is all about setting New Year’s Resolutions. While that may work for some, it never seemed to work very well for me. I would always seem to break my resolutions within a couple of weeks of start of the New Year. I think part of the reason for that was that resolutions just seemed kind of nebulous to me.
I finally started having success when I set goals rather than resolutions. Goals are something I deal with all the time as work, so it felt more structured to me. I could break my goals down into tasks which gave me something tangible to work toward and that really seemed to work for me.
Whether one sets goals or resolutions, I think the biggest challenge in meeting either is finding the strength within that one needs to accomplish their goal(s). Quite often, one of our biggest stumbling blocks to success is that we spend too much time focusing on past weaknesses or “failures” and don’t really look at the strength we have within ourselves to actually be successful.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve been taking a look at some of the everyday routines I perform on a regular basis at work. Doing so has been helping me recognize some of the natural strengths/skills I possess and use often that could easily be harnessed for my health & fitness journey, too. Here are just a couple of examples:
- Organizing– I work on projects all the time at work, including some that are very large in scope and budget. I know how to create & organize a project plan with tasks, subtasks, deadlines, etc. Why not take that expertise and use it to organize my weight loss efforts, too. If I say I want to lose 10 pounds, I can then break that down into the various tasks I need to accomplish to meet that goal such as preparing healthy meals, getting in my workouts, etc.
- Planning – This is something I definitely have to do on a regular basis as a manager. I need to plan our the work schedules of my team, our budget, etc. Since I am good at planning, why not use this skill for things like planning my menu for the week, planning my workouts to ensure I’m covering all of my bases while also getting in a nice variety of workouts to keep me from getting bored.
- Group Dynamics – Again, by being a manager, I have to work with a lot of people all the time. I understand the importance of having a team effort to work toward meeting a goal. I’ve actually already been using this skill for my weight loss journey by creating a support system of friends who are all there to help me in any way I need.
- Juggling – Ok, so not “real” juggling, but the art of juggling a busy schedule. I work a full time job in IT management. I have a 60+ mile round trip commute for work. I’m a full time college student who will (fingers crossed) graduate in 2013. I’ve mastered the art of multitasking which can be another very useful tool for my weight loss efforts. Rather than having to give up a favorite TV show, I can multitask and watch it while I’m on the treadmill instead. Or, how about if I want to make phone calls and catch up with friends, head outside and make those calls while you take a walk instead?
The list could actually go on and on. After just a couple of days thinking about it, I came up with a pretty good list of “real world” strengths that could easily be used to help me reach my personal goals as well. It’s just a matter of stepping back and honing in on the actual skill behind what you do vs. just looking at the actual individual task.
What about you? Do you have “real world” things that you do on a daily basis that could translate into strengths to help you reach your health and fitness goals, too? I’ll bet you do if you just give it a little thought! We’d love to hear your ideas on the skills you possess, so please leave us a comment! Sharing your own strengths might just help someone else realize they share the very same one.
As you know, we have the New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge kicking off on January 1. (Have you signed up yet? If not, be sure to do it!) I’ve heard a few people say they weren’t sure if they were going to sign up because they never seem to do well at challenges anyway. Well, here’s your chance to change that because I’m going to leave you all with a challenge!
Rather than thinking about those past weaknesses/failures, I want each of you to take a little time between now and the kickoff of our new challenge on Tuesday. Take some time to really think about the strengths and qualities you already possess that can help you be successful. Come up with a list of at least five and write them down somewhere or even share them here with us down in the comments. Whenever you are feeling weak or like your a failure, pull up your list of strengths to help remind yourself that you are STRONG and you CAN do this!
The rock in the photo at the top of this post is actually my own. I bought it a few years ago when I was going through some rough times. I use it as a physical reminder when I’m feeling weak that I AM strong!