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New Year/Same You: Why Men and Resolutions Don’t Mix

Well, my dudes. Here we are. It is the first week of the new year. The gyms are packed. Your cabinets are full of gluten-free food and, if my calculations are correct, you are about to lose your mind. 

The problem is that you have painted yourself into a corner. If you give up on your New Year's resolutions, you must experience the annoying sting of failure. However, if you keep going, then you force your butt to cash the check your mouth wrote last week. 

There could be another solution that could help find a balance between these two extremes. What I am going to suggest to you in this blog is a way to amend your resolutions and reconfigure them in a way that will actually be beneficial and achievable.

Focus on Behavior Rather than Results

Weight loss tends to be a common goal for people. “I want to lose 10 pounds this month.” The problem with this is that there are often too many variables that we can't account for. What if you get sick? What if Crumbl brings back the churro cookie? What if you do all the things right, but the scale doesn’t reflect the work you put in? Rather than allow a scale, or some other uncontrollable metric to determine your success, resolve to spend x minutes on the treadmill x days a week. Then, regardless of the results at the end of 30 days, you can say you met your goal.

Make Resolutions with Time in Mind

This is a great tip I heard from a friend. Come up with 4 goals for the year that are all varying in difficulty and the time required to complete them. For the easiest goal, set the deadline for the end of March. The next easiest is set for the end of June. Then the end of September and finally the end of December. Your first goal should take you 3 months. Your second should take you 6 and so on. This way, you can have success along the way which will activate dopamine in your brain, increasing motivation to tackle the other goals. 

Leave Some Wiggle Room

If you plan out your day in 15-minute increments and then eat some bad fish tacos at lunch, you’re doomed! The 30 excruciating minutes you spent in the bathroom have now derailed you and there is nothing to do except call today a loss and start again tomorrow. Any goal requires room for grace because life is inevitably going to happen to us all. If you want to work out, resolve to hit the gym 4-5 days a week, and don’t set the days. This way, when you need to adjust, there is space within the goal to do so. 

These principles can be applied to any goal or resolution. Just be creative.

At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we specialize in working with guys just like you to help you reach whatever goals you may have. Whether you are struggling with your mental health, relationships, self-confidence, or something else. We are here to help.

Learn more about the Men’s Counseling Services we provide.

Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.

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