NMA Radio: Rescuing New Year’s Resolutions

This week, the one between Christmas and New Year’s, is my favorite of the year. After the holiday celebrations have wound down, we finally have the opportunity to relax, to look back on the past year, and to get excited about all the possibilities in the next.

Last week, I wrote about why I still love New Year’s resolutions, even if they seem to have gotten a bad rap recently. In this eighth episode of No Meat Athlete Radio, Doug and I go a little bit deeper into the process of goal setting, as we discuss when, why, and how you can most effectively plan to do something great in the coming year.

Enjoy these last few days of 2012, and I hope that you’ll use them to think just a little bit harder than usual about what’s next for you. January 1st may not be inherently special on its own, I know, but there’s no reason you can’t choose to make it so.

Thanks so much for being a reader of No Meat Athlete this year. We’re truly grateful for your time, attention, and interaction, and we’re going to make 2013 our best year yet.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why is New Years a good time to set goals? (2:10)
  • Do you lose motivation if you postpone due to planning? (4:45)
  • How big to make your resolutions (9:05)
  • The importance of small wins (14:30)
  • Why and how you should write down your goals (17:30)
  • Seeing yourself as the person who achieves your goal (21:00)
  • The power of accountability (23:30)
  • Share your goals (32:00)
  • 2013 No Meat Athlete plans (34:15)
  • Quick-fire round! (39:00)

Help us out: If you’re a fan of the NMA podcast, we’d be immensely grateful if you’d take a second to leave us a review on iTunes.

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Our phone number where you can call in to submit your question for the next episode: 707-786-3429

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In Defense of New Year’s Resolutions (and Why NOW Is the Time to Declare Yours)

I know: New Year’s resolutions aren’t exactly fashionable these days.

Far cooler than telling someone about your resolution for 2013 is to go around quoting stats about how ineffective they are, and how many well-intentioned self-promises are forgotten by the end of January every year.

Or you can point out that January 1st is arbitrary, just as good (or bad) as any other day to start something new.

Not me, though. I’m not ready to give up on New Year’s resolutions just yet. Here’s why.

2 reasons why New Year’s resolutions can still work for you

I’ll admit the track record is embarrassing. There’s a reason for this, though — it’s that most people treat their resolutions like wishes from a genie in a bottle. They mistakenly assume that when the calendar flips, so will some switch in their brains that makes their willpower appreciably stronger than it is now.

But if we’ve learned anything from the study of habits, it’s that willpower is not enough. It’s an exhaustible resource, and while you can coast by on willpower alone for maybe the first week of January, your willpower is going to fade at some point. And if that happens before your new habit has become, well, a habit, your resolution fades too.

So there’s the first key to making a resolution that’s not just another wish: make it about changing the habits that are necessary to create the bigger change you really want. For instance, if you resolve to lose 20 or 50 or 100 pounds, don’t get up on January 1st and try to lose 20 or 50 or 100 pounds. Instead, wake up on January 1st and begin creating the exercise habit — which likely means starting with just 5 minutes. Physically, you accomplish next to nothing, but far more importantly, you begin re-wiring your brain for exercise in a way that’s so painless you can’t possibly flake out.

And what of this business about January 1st being arbitrary? Agreed, the actual date doesn’t matter. But here’s what does.

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The 2012 No Meat Athlete Holiday Gift Guide!

Face it — as a vegetarian or vegan athlete, you just might be that friend who is impossible to shop for. We tend to be kind of obsessive, and outside of food and fitness, there’s not always a lot of time leftover for other, gift-friendly hobbies. You know; golf, gadgetry-obsessing, necktie-wearing, etc.

That’s why Susan, Doug, and I decided to put together this little holiday gift guide, specifically for weirdos out there like us. Over the past few weeks, we’ve tried out a bunch of new (and some not new) vegetarian/vegan/fitness products, and the ones we liked best made our list!

We hope you’ll find the opportunity to not-so-subtly pass it  on to a friend whose gift list you’re on … or that you’ll find a few ideas for things you had no idea you badly needed. Which, of course, is what the holidays are all about, right? 🙂

Enjoy our holiday picks!

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