The most popular New Year’s resolutions involve losing weight, exercising more, and eating better. Because of being worded so broadly, they are also among the top resolutions that are disregarded after a few weeks. It is in our nature to want to start anew each year… we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t resolve to do something every January 1. This year, I challenge you to resolve differently… rethink your resolutions per se. How? By relating them to process goals, not product goals.
Product goals involve a final product, such as losing a set amount of weight, finishing a 5K in a certain time, or lowering cholesterol or blood pressure. While product goals are good, often external factors outside of our control may make them a tad harder to accomplish on a given timeframe. If we don’t accomplish them by our given timeline, we may feel defeated and give up.
Process goals are more within our control. They are a part of a “process” that we use to achieve our ultimate product. They are the means to our end. But they are quicker to accomplish and definitely within our control, so when we do complete them, we feel great and more motivated to continue toward our larger goal. Some examples of process goals are:
- Exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes each
- Eat out at a fast food or other restaurant no more than once a week
- Eat 7-9 servings of fruits/vegetables per day
- Walk the dog for 15 minutes twice a day each day of the week
- Drink 5 glasses of water per day
- Watch 3 of my favorite TV shows while walking on the treadmill each week
- Practice yoga or other mind-body exercise once a week
Instead of aiming to lose weight, exercise more, or eat better, what are some key changes you can make in your daily or weekly routine? What process goals can you set that will help you lead a healthier life in 2012?