Sunday, March 13, 2011

Succeeding at your New Year resolutions and Lent sacrifices

My New Year Resolution and Lent Sacrifices

How is everyone doing with their New Year’s Resolutions? I have to brag, I’m still going strong and the real reason is because of how I set my goals. Here is what they were and how I approached them.
1. To commit myself more to writing
I set a goal to write every day. I set my alarm clock to 4:30 in the morning; I get up and make myself a cup of coffee and sit still to write for one uninterrupted hour. I knew doing this every day would be hard and a little unrealistic so I decided that I had to write at least 4 days a week. That plan has worked out. I learned to pull from my strengths instead of stressing from my weaknesses.
2. To work out at the gym and train like I once used to
To be realistic, training like I did when I competed is near impossible. I’m not planning to compete this year so there’s no reason for me to hit the weights hard six days a week; or for that matter, twice a day. I decided to train hard but I set my schedule to train no less than three (3) days a week. I also decided that if I do not go to the gym, I would run outside. When summer comes along, I’ll have to readjust my schedule and try a new routine.
So the real reason why I’m still on top of my New Year’s Resolution is because I focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t do. Sure, I can’t wake up every single day at 4:30 to write but at least I do it five days a week and heck, I also find time to write at night. On weekends, I write when I can. Same for my workouts, I tell myself that I need to work out at least every other day, that way if I do miss a work out , I go the next day, it works for me.

Lent Sacrifices
To clarify some confusion about my Lent Sacrifice, I’d like to say that my goal isn’t too complicated. I decided to stop making small personal expenses that are unnecessary. The real reason why I did this is to save my money so I can travel for NASCAR events that are relatively close to my place such as Bristol Motor Speedway, Martinsville, New Hampshire and possibly Telladega. Okay, so NH isn’t close to Charlotte, but, it’s my childhood home track and I want to go there. Telladega is six hours south and is the track I hope to travel to sometime in the near future. So here are the sacrifices I need to focus on the most.
1. Coffee: I drink coffee every single day. By the time I leave for work, I’ve already had 2 cups, so by the time I do get to work, there is no reason for me to stop in to Starbucks or Port City Java or Panera for anything. I am in control and I have no excuses to show up for work without having had a cup of java or a good breakfast. So, no need to spend my money at a coffee shop UNLESS I’m buying a pound of coffee or a bucket of 12 bagels.
2. Drinks: Aside coffee, I’ve decided that there is no reason for me to go out and spend my money on drinks like a single bottle of water or to buy a protein shake at the gym. There’s also no reason for me to spend my money on a single glass of wine or beer. If I want a few of these drinks, I’ll buy a bottle of wine or a 6 pack of beer and invite a few friends over.
3. Other small expenses such as a dollar here, a dollar there. None of that. I’ve never been one to rely on the vending machine nor do I spend at the check-out . If I’m desprete for water or a snack, I’ll buy enough to bring home and have for the next few days, instead of 1.
These goals are not hard to achieve. What’s hard is the negative attitudes people have about setting their own goals. If you want something in life, go get it.
Making these New Year’s Resolutions and keeping them is your responsibility and you can make them last; stop following the ones that can’t and stop saying you can’t. You create your own success as much as you create your own failures.
Making them work is something that you need to do by paying attention what works and what doesn’t. If your resolution was to work out every day at the gym and you never led an active lifestyle in the gym, maybe your resolution is unrealistic and you should consider switching it up to, ‘going to the gym as much as possible until I find my niche and drive, until I figure out what motivation techniques work for me and how I can make it work so that next year, I can say I’ll work out five days a week.’
See how easy it really can be? It’s up to you.

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