How to Keep a Promise to Yourself

May 11, 2018, 4:05 p.m. (ET)

As your next season approaches, between your offseason training sessions, classes and life in general, it's easy to get distracted from changes you pledged as the New Year rang in. Don't become one of the millions of people that give up on their resolutions. In 2018, keep those promises to yourself going as summer approaches. Having trouble, or want to start anew? Check out some tips on how to "keep" a promise to yourself, rather than "make" one.

 

What do early Monday mornings and midnight on a frosty January 1 have in common? Both areas of space and time are societally classified as starting lines.

We wait. We wait. And we wait. Then something magical happens.

The hands of the clock flick right, aligning at 12 and in one second an arena-worthy buzzer sounds between our ears. We’re in a full out mad dash. You know the kind - arms swinging hard, gasping for breath, head tilted toward the sky as if asking ‘why am I doing this to myself’ kind of sprint. Hello, preseason. But unlike preseason, this run isn’t on a hockey pitch.

This race is rather an ideal environment to shred those stubborn 10 pounds, turn a blind eye to the chic designer name purse or tear out every molecule in your closest to color coordinate your cardigans.

So who has kept up with their 2018 resolution? The hands of the clock aligned. The ball dropped in Times Square. The magical moment passed. What, only a few ‘yeses’ amongst the crowd? As it turns out, we’re not alone. Only 8 percent of people successfully achieve their resolutions, according to research from the University of Scranton.

With our goals’ lifelines dashed before they were ever accomplished, we’re back to waiting. Waiting until Monday or next Monday because that event that will conflict with your goal and set you up for failure. Or, well, 2019 is less than 12 months away. You can wait until then to start a new. The timing will be right. You’ll be ready.

What if we nixed this concept of the ideal time and dealt with the wildly bumpy, unknown terrain ahead as is? What if we gave Tuesday evenings or Thursday afternoons to be starting lines, for a chance to begin again? Here are a pointers to keep in mind will you reformat the way of thinking.

1. Focus on the journey, not the outcome.

There’s a better guarantee of success if you stick to resolutions that you actually have control over. Want to lose 15 pounds? Well, sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine is more important than the number on the scale. And you can’t force those pounds off. So, stick to a resolution like ‘I will go to the gym five days a week and I will fill half my plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal.’ These are things you have control over and they will help you reach your ultimate goal of weight loss.

2. Celebrate the little W’s.

You hit a point of accomplishment on your goal-seeking trek? Acknowledge that victory! Just make sure the rewards you choose don’t work against your goal, like heading on a shopping spree because you managed to save $100 this month. Think of a way you can treat yourself like taking a long, relaxing bubble bath every week you reach your saving’s goal. It’s a positive reward that will actually help make a healthier, happier you.

3. Don’t throw in the towel so easily.

Too often, too people let excuses get behind of the wheel of the car on the road to change. You’re human. Slip ups will happen. You had a moment of weakness and bought a long board or ate a box of cookies. It happens! If weight loss were simple, it wouldn’t be the number one resolution, year after year. Often, we use small slip-ups as an excuse to give up on big goals. Forgive yourself, move on and keep trying.

This article is featured in the Winter 2017 issue of FHLife Magazine. To read more inspiring, knowledge-packed and fun features revolving around hockey, fitness, healthy eating and how to strengthen your game, subscribe to our quarterly publication by clicking here.