Last year around this time, I wrote this article called Resolution to Diet – Consider this. Then I posted some bonus material on the blog in early January with excited intentions to work on resolutions with my patients all year. Then 2020 started in earnest for me and I never quite got back around to this. Essentially, this alternative to a more traditional New Year’s resolution is to make monthly mini-resolutions. The idea for this comes in part out of the Whole30 program, but I also have to credit my good friend, Ree, who is also a very list and goal inspired person.
You Can Do Anything for 30 Days
When I was in physical therapy for most of 2018, my PT would often time me doing the exercises and she would sometimes say things like, “just 5 more seconds – you can do anything for 5 seconds!” I find this concept so inspiring. I CAN do anything for 5 seconds, maybe even 10 seconds. Maybe even longer. That’s one of the reasons I think mini-resolutions are a great idea – you probably can do anything for 30 days. And 30 days is enough time for you to decide if you WANT to do it for longer.
Small Goals are Scalable
The other reason I think 30 day goals are a great idea is that anything you do for 30 days is something you can build on. People used to say it takes 3 weeks to build a habit – if that is true, 30 days is enough time for that. But as I discussed in the article linked above, you can build 30 day goals as steps to achieving a bigger goal. In terms of changing your diet, most people aren’t super successful in changing their eating habits in huge ways overnight. If you are one of the lucky few for whom this is easy – I commend you – but for most, including me, changing your diet overnight is hard, can feel restrictive and doesn’t often last.
Instead, what if you change just 1 single thing about your diet for just 30 days. At the end of 30 days, that change probably isn’t as hard to maintain. Then you make a different 30 day goal, another small single change. Of course your goals depend on your starting point – for some, the first goal might be to eat some of any vegetable at least once a day. I eat a lot of vegetables every day, so that wouldn’t be much of a goal for me.
So even though for some, eating 1 serving of vegetables every day might feel like it’s too easy, I actually recommend starting with really easy goals, especially if you haven’t had much success with goal setting in the past. Exercise for 5 minutes is better than zero minutes and by the end of the week, that’s more than a half of an hour. By the end of the month, that’s two hours of exercise you might not have been doing before.
Also, don’t get too tied up in “30 days.” You might set your mini goal for 28 days or 4 calendar weeks or you could say the month and hold your goal for 28, 30 or 31 days. Maybe some goals are better for 2 months or a quarter of the year. The point of this method and frankly, all the methods I’m describing in this series is to help you achieve what you want to achieve and that starts by setting goals that you are excited about and feel like you can accomplish.
I’ll be building a little more on this concept tomorrow and referencing that book I mentioned in my first post. If this post resonates with you, definitely tune in tomorrow.
This is the third post in a 6 part series about New Year’s Resolutions. I’m posting a mini summary on Facebook and Instagram, so follow me on the platform of your choice if you’d like to ensure you don’t miss the next piece on resolutions or come back tomorrow for another idea.