A new year means resolutions for many, whether it’s to lose weight, run a half marathon, quit smoking/drinking/eating sugar, save more money and on and on.
Unfortunately, resolutions like these often rely on huge, sudden changes that most of us are unable to stick to, which is why most fail.
My favorite article related to goal setting speaks to why this happens. Essentially, we focus a lot on goals, or end results, but don’t commit to the processes or “systems” required to get there.
One of the many examples resonates with me as both a runner and an endurance running coach: “If you’re a runner, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.”
This may seem obvious, but my fellow coaches and I often find ourselves stressing this over and over: you must put the training in if you want to complete the race (or hit a PR and avoid injury). Over and over, though, people skip out on midweek runs and cross-training, relying only on weekend long runs. This is a recipe for disaster but also a surefire way to fall short of your goals.
To reel this back in, this year, I’m going to follow my own advice and commit to a few systems I think will work for me and what I hope to accomplish. While these are still in progress, one of my end goals is to eat better. That’s about as vague as it gets, but that is also why I’m working on a system.
For me, I agree with the sentiment that having junk food around the house leads to more bad choices for snacking. However, I have also found that having no treats at all leads to some healthy snacking and then a trip to the nearest bakery for a huge vanilla sprinkle doughnut or eating a veggie-only lunch just to splurge on deep dish pizza for dinner.
Over time, what has worked best for me (this may differ for you!) is to keep a variety of both types of food in the house. This means raw nuts, apples, broccoli, carrots, etc. but also one-bite chocolates and single servings of not-so-nutritious food that I have the option of incorporating into my diet in smaller doses.
By allowing myself to have them on hand, I feel as though I can make better choices at each meal without going all or nothing.
With that, I’m signing off to eat a rice and veggie bowl for lunch with a side of one milk chocolate caramel square.
What goals do you have for 2016 and what processes do you need to commit to in order to make them happen? Would love to hear from you!