I love New Year's Resolutions. The idea of a fresh start, hitting the reset button is so liberating to me. But I've always struggled with them. Not that I haven't achieved great things in a year, or had the accountability to stick through working on my resolutions for the whole year. But I have definitely had a couple that I have lugged across an entire decade with debatable success.
I’ve decided to shake things up in 2020 and become hyper-focused on finally, at long last, tackling those resolutions.
Here’s some specific strategies I’ve applied to help make this year’s version of ‘lose weight’ be more successful:
- Ditch the phrase ‘lose weight’ from my resolution. I can’t truly control whether or not I lose weight. What I can control is the habits I pursue that will very likely lead to weight loss. And ultimately, it’s not just weight loss I want but overall health and strength.
- Include specific dates on my habits, where appropriate. That gives me some deadlines and ways to achieve milestones of success along the way -- entirely within my control.
- Don’t try to do everything at once. This applies in two ways. First off, the deadlines give me a way to settle into all of the changes I want to make and slowly get to where I need to be. Slow, achievable changes are more successful. Secondly, for the very first time, I’ve actually limited my resolutions to single focus. I used to have a million each year, and they were ALL OVER the place. Not this year. I might DO the other things, but I’m not committing to doing them until I’ve tackled the first one. The house repair, piano playing, book reading, language learning, and all the other resolutions that I hacked from the list are still calling me, but perhaps that will make me all the more motivated to wrap up my first resolution.
- Make it fun. I’ve had some fun with how everything is worded. I’m launching many professional and personal projects this year, so I decided to make ‘launch’ a theme for this year. I grin every time I read my list.
So here goes, here’s my official set of resolutions for the first half of 2020.
On June 30th, complete 10 pull-ups using bicep, tricep, and core strength following a lift-off using quadricep muscles.
Decrease maximum payload for launch event:
- Track nutrient consumption daily using MyFitnessPal or similar tracking system
- Continue gym visits, increasing from 3x weekly to 6x weekly by the end of March.
- Reintroduce intermittent fasting, experimenting with 10, 12, and 16-hour fasts to determine which best suits my body and lifestyle.
- Give up refined sugar in January. Reintroduce in February, limited to 4x per month. Track using treat budget in Beeminder.
- Weigh every morning after tooth brushing.
Increase horizontal speed to achieve 3 miles in 30 minutes:
- Create running and strength training schedule by January 15th to increase duration of running portion of weekly runs and gradually increase speed at achievable pace. I’m currently running 3 miles total at pace of 5.2 mph with a 0.1 mile walk break every 0.5 miles.
Improve chassis flexibility, balance, and durability:
- Implement the tiny habit changes in my Move More 2020 Anti-Challenge.
Increase maximum distance covered through rotational force:
- Starting on February 1, ride exercise bike a minimum of one mile per day during morning wake-up game playing. Identify additional pairing events for biking. Track distance achieved per day. Beat maximum distance achieved 30 times.
- Ride my non-stationary bike outdoors at least once.
Simulate launch maneuvers:
- Every Friday/Saturday gym session (depending on timing of trainer session), execute 50 squats, 5 minutes of planks, and 50 reps on compensated pull-up machine.
Evaluate launch readiness on June 1st and consider additional initiatives for remainder of 2020.