By Mike Gustafson//Contributor | Wednesday, January 4, 2017There’s a saying that a guarantee is only as good as the person who makes it. And the same can be true for New Year’s Resolutions: They’re only as good as they are accomplishable.
It’s no wonder that, as studies have shown, the majority of resolutions fail. Why? Because habits are difficult to break, and many resolutions are just too elaborate, too far-fetched. We start off the New Year with grandiose expectations of ourselves, only to hit January 21st (most resolutions fail after three weeks) back to our old selves.
Swimmers, of course, are no exception. Swimmers begin the New Year with one, two, or three things they’d like to fix or work on: A new turn, perhaps, or a new perspective. But often, those resolutions get lost in the waves, forgotten in the gutters.
Have no fear, swim people! Instead of picking a resolution you think may fail, here are some easily-accomplishable resolutions. This is a different kind of resolution list. This is a resolution list for those people who already know they’ll probably fail in their resolutions. And if resolutions are all about giving one confidence anyway, why not pick a resolution destined for success? Why not give yourself the confidence that, at least for one year, you nailed that resolution.
I call it, “Easily Accomplishable Resolutions.”
1. Eat more food.
Some people may have the New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier or intake food that has more nutritional value. I say, rather than necessarily limit your intake, just eat more. By percentage and with enough consumption, you’ll eventually eat food with nutritional value, and that, technically, will accomplish your resolution to “eat healthier food.”
2. Nap more.
If others resolve to “give more at practice” or “practice harder,” shouldn’t sleep also be considered part of practice? Sleep is, obviously, a vital component of the recovery process. And therefore, sleep should be considered part of the swim practice routine. Vow to sleep more with a well-strategized nap either before or after swim practice. It’s not an extra 400 IM off the blocks every day, but it could be just as important — and easily accomplishable.
3. Wear a T-shirt with a positive slogan on it.
Rather than actually be more positive or change a personality into someone who is more upbeat, just buy a t-shirt with an upbeat slogan on it. Done. Resolution accomplished.
4. Consider “personal bests” to be day-of.
Comparing and contrasting one’s best self to the ghosts of yesteryear is, sort of, an unfair process. Especially the older you get: When you’re 90, you can’t very well accomplish personal bests from fifty years ago. It’s all about how you define “personal best.” Consider re-framing. So rather than get all caught up in personal bests from last season or even last month, consider your personal best that day. Did you go your personal best that day? That hour? That minute? Good job! Well done! A new personal best today.
5. Define yourself by the time zone you’re actually on.
I’ve always said that I’m on west coast time living in an east coast world. Just remember that, even if you’re 5 minutes late to practice one day, if you live in New Jersey, by central time zone standards, you’re actually 55 minutes early. Or, if you compare yourself to Tokyo time, you’re 9 hours and 55 minutes early. Which is extremely impressive. Right, coach?
Whatever resolution you pick, the key here is to make sure it is accomplishable. Because if swimming is, indeed, 90 percent mental, then you’ll need that extra mental confidence edge knowing you ate a little healthier food this year, or “practiced” a little more throughout the week. And, not only did you eat healthier and practice harder, but you’re also perpetually 15 hours and 53 minutes early (and definitely on time) for prelims warm-up, considering the time it is in Mumbai.