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What I won't be doing in 2024

As we are quickly approaching what is now called "Quitter's Day" (the second Friday in January), I felt it was a good time to talk about New Year's Resolutions and how my view on them has changed over the years.

There is a lot of pressure for change in January. A new year means new beginnings. As we reflect on the past year and what we did not accomplish or what we wish we could have accomplished, it is easy to set ourselves up for a very stressful 2024.

Too much pressure is placed on being better, achieving more, and evolving in a short period of time. This leaves one feeling like a failure when we do not accomplish those lofty goals set on January 1st.

Here are 4 things I will not be doing in 2024:

I will not be feeling the pressure to start making "changes" January 1.

New year once was in the Spring (which makes much more sense to me) but the Christian Gregorian calendar changed that.

So, basically, January 1st is just an arbitrary date set to signal a new calendar year. It has no real significance. Why put so much pressure on ourselves?

Instead, I will ease into my goals in a manner that is comfortable and reasonable.

I will not be adding unnecessary pressure to my life by setting goals that only stress me out.

For example, I will not be getting a new gym membership this month because my goal is to exercise more in 2024. Why?

It sets an expectation that may or may not be feasible. Job responsibilities, family, bad weather, sickness can all slow down momentum when we are trying to hit the gym 5 days a week. But, the pressure of making it because we put out the money for the membership just makes us feel worse when forces beyond our control prevent going.

Instead, I will be doing things that make me happy, encouraged, and not stressed. It may start with trying different gyms and classes on a trial basis. Going with a friend on a guest pass or just paying for a class at a time until I find what I love. I may also start with exercising at home.

Along this same vein, I will not be making drastic changes to my diet in January.

Having a weight loss goal for the new year is great but don't clean out the kitchen on January 1. Start with small changes and do one at a time. Once I accomplish the first small change, I will move to the next.

I will not be adhering to SMART goals. SMART being an acronym for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Based.

This may come as a shock to many of you given I have taught the importance of SMART goals for years. I am not debunking SMART goals, but sometimes that just do not apply.

Often, I have a goal that is not very specific and that is ok.

A goal may not even be measurable. Most of my patients want to lose weight because they want to feel better or be healthier. And, while these are quantifiable measures, by looking a blood tests, blood pressure, and other parameters, often, it is based on how an individual feels. You cannot measure "feeling good" but you know it when it happens.

And, who said it had to be relevant? Getting into a smaller pair of pants does not seem very relevant but to some, it may mean everything.

It is your goal. You do not have to justify it.

Instead, I am setting a MINDSET for 2024. I will let that mindset guide my decisions.

A mindset can be a very general term such as:

  • healthy

  • happy

  • active

  • empowered

  • focused

When making decisions, we use that mindset to guide us. Does this behavior make me feel healthy or happy? Will this action empower me? Does this decision fit into my mindset of becoming more active? Will this help me stay focused?

These are just examples. Choose your MINDSET by reflecting on the last year(s) and the change you want to see.

I will not be feeling doubtful, disappointed, or like I failure if I do not accomplish my goals by December 31st.

There is no time limit on achieving what makes you happy. We try to time stamp too many things in life.

Instead, give yourself grace when you fall off, have a setback, or slip up.

Any day is a good day to start over and there is no "Quitter's Day". Only "off days".

Most of these days, weeks, months are out of our control. You must factor in unforeseen events. The key to success is how quickly you get back on track and keep moving forward.

Focus on the positives and your MINDSET to guide you, help you stay on course, and recalibrate when you veer off.

I believe that most New Year's Resolutions fail because we put too much pressure on ourselves. It is as if January 1st is the starting line for a race. Most of us feel we have failed before we even start because of this arbitrary day.

In fact, most never reach the finish line. According to a Forbe's poll, a resolution lasts on average 3.74 months with only 8% of people sticking to it for one month.

Clearly, we are going about this wrong.

So, I challenge you to try setting a MINDSET for 2024 and ditch the New Year's Resolutions!

What will be your MINDSET for not only the new year but for your life?

I hope everyone has a great 2024 and be kind to yourself!


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1 Comment

Great article. Thanks😁

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