Did you know that willpower is a finite resource? That the more you tax your reserves, the less available it will be for future decision making?
One way to fight back when you are trying to set and keep goals or resolutions is to shrink them down to a tiny, minute size, a size so small that they seem absolutely inconsequential.
An example: let’s say your goal is to exercise 30 minutes a day. When you think about changing your established routine to find those 30 minutes, let alone work up the willpower to get moving and break a sweat, that willpower reserve can get taxed heavily. But what if you break that goal down, and set as your daily goal to exercise just 5 minutes, or even 1 minute?
That’s an easy goal to manage. One minute? Walk up the block, or do a handful of sit-ups and pull-ups. Do it and feel good that you achieved your goal for the day. And here’s where the magic can happen: you might feel so good getting your heart rate up, your blood pumping and your spirits lifting that you just keep doing it, for the sheer joy of exercising—not on willpower alone.
So when you are making you resolutions or health goals at the end of the holiday season (or the beginning, there’s no better time than now to start, right?), dream big but scale small.
Maybe you want to invite calmness and mindfulness into your life and set the goal of meditating 15 minutes a day. But you have never had a meditation practice before. So start with one measly minute. See where it takes you. Just sit still for one minute, notice your thoughts but do not give them any more importance than they deserve and breathe. Set a timer, or not. And then give your self permission to get up and continue about your day if you so choose.
Here at Salida Recreation, we want to support your health and fitness goals. During the month of January and February, we dedicate much of our programming to our annual Fitness Challenge. The idea behind the Challenge is to provide lots of free classes from around the community for you to try. We work with gyms, dance studios and other wellness providers to build a schedule of introductory classes. So set a goal of just showing up. See what Salida’s health community has to offer. Spend some will power getting to a class and then just let the good feelings take over.
The Fitness Challenge also includes the New Year’s Day 5K (a fun community event to celebrate the start of something new in 2014), prizes for people who log their participation, and for the first time, a kid’s fitness challenge.
Information about the 5K and fitness logging can be found at www.salidarec.com/