Rules vs. Resolutions

rulesWe have been discussing the merits of New Years Resolutions over the past couple weeks. For me resolutions don’t work, but I know sometimes I need a little “mindset reset” to get back on track.

And what should appear in my inbox? This great article from Leo Babauta on his blog “Zen Habits”. Head on over and read it, I’ll wait. 🙂

Although we might bristle at the word “rules”, to me it just makes sense. I may not call them by that name all the time, but I do have rules that I live by, and I bet you do too. Good rules protect, not restrict. Games have rules so we know how to win. We can creates rules that help us win too!

For instance in my marriage I understand there are certain things I need to do and certain things I need not to do to have a healthy relationship with Nancy. Basic but important things, like:

  • When I am traveling, it is my rule to call (or as a last resort, text) before bed every night.
  • It is important to her that she get a kiss before we get out of bed in the morning, so that is a “rule” I live by.
  • It is my rule to talk respectfully with all women and never cross a line that anyone, but particularly Nancy, would consider inappropriate.

To me these rules are not restrictive. They actually help create a sense of security and therefore freedom within our marriage. Big win!

The same thing can apply to our exercise and nutrition. We can set goals, but then we must take action in order to reach those goals. By having rules, we create a foundation for taking the action that helps us reach our goals.

Leo gives some great examples in his article, so I won’t be redundant. But I will say it has been very helpful to create some rules for myself in this area. For instance I used to have a loose training schedule. My goal was to start my training by 2:00pm in the afternoon, but all too often I would stay behind my desk and have to abbreviate my training and sometimes I lost track of time and missed it all together – not cool. So now I have established a “rule”. On training days I am in the gym by 1:00pm. So far, so good. Haven’t missed or had to abbreviate a training session yet, and that is progress.

So what about you? What rules do you have in your own life, or what rule are you going to create to help you take the action that pushes you toward your goals?

Share in the comments below!


About the author

Coach Dean

Former Fat Boy Turned Health and Fitness Junkie. Award Winning Fitness Business Owner and Trainer. World Class Nutrition Coach. Truth Teller. Scholar. Opinionated. Humble and Willing To Tell You About It. Tell Dean He Is Full Of It On Any Of His Social Media Profiles. He Will Probably Agree.

Lisa Hanson - January 11, 2016

I am making a rule to prep my meals on Sunday for the week. Since I workout on the way to work it is important to have breakfast done for the whole week on Sunday. That way I just grab it and can eat it right after workout.

Coach Dean - January 11, 2016

That is a great rule, and saves a lot of times stressing out about what to eat, right?

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