By laceylee, Dec 21 2015 02:10PM
HOW TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION… REALLY!
Are you among the millions who plan to make a New Year’s Resolution? If you are, you like the majority of those millions will choose a resolution that will revolve around health, fitness and/or nutrition. Of all the millions making resolutions a very small percentage actually keep them. Whether it is to lose weight, stop smoking, volunteer more, eat healthier, live a healthier lifestyle, etc. – many people start off great then as the days turn into weeks, the momentum starts to fade. I don’t want this to be you.
One of my favorite quotes sums it up perfectly, “New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain.”
What people tend to forget is every single day is a NEW day to start over, change your direction, modify your “resolution”, etc. That is the beauty of it all – you don’t have to wait until January 1st to make a change – you can do it at any time. The key is having tools in your “tool box” to grab when you find times getting tough, your motivation is lacking, “life” gets in the way, etc.
The ultimate goal is for your New Year’s resolution not to be revolved around losing weight, beginning to exercise and/or eating healthier because you have already adapted the healthy lifestyle.
(1). BE REALISTIC
It is with with utmost importance that you choose a realistic and attainable resolution. It’s great to think “big” when it comes to setting your goal but you may become frustrated and discouraged in the process. It’s okay to have a big goal but break it into several small achievable goals. Key word in that is achievable!! For example: It is easy to say “I’m going to start working out every single day.” Your enthusiasm is high and you have good intentions BUT you have to think about what you have been doing up to this point. If you are going from a sedentary lifestyle and have not worked out in months/years – you are only setting yourself up to going back to square one – a sedentary lifestyle. Going from nothing to working out every single day is just too ambitious. The last thing you want to do is find yourself waving that little white flag to your goal(s). I always want to encourage people to find ways to send themselves positive reinforcement. Instead of saying you are going to workout every day, start with twice a week. This may be just 10-20 minutes – it may be longer. The point is getting into the “habit” of exercise. Stick with this for a couple weeks (or more if you still find it challenging) then bump it up to a third day or add more time to your twice a week habit. You are now sending positive reinforcement back to yourself saying “I CAN do more” instead of “dang, I’ve done too much!”
Another crucial element to KEEPING your New Year’s resolution is to think back to past years. Are you making the same resolution each year and each year not sticking with it? If so – time to re-evaluate your resolution. Think about the realistic nature of it. Ask yourself – is it achievable? Am I being realistic based on what I have been doing/not doing up to this point?
(2). DON’T CHANGE EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE
Adapting a healthier lifestyle is all about changing habits. If you want to become more active AND eating healthier - pick one. Which one ignites your desire the most? Which one would have the most positive impact on your life when/if achieved? Changing your lifestyle all at once is a recipe for disaster. Again, good intentions but it’s just too much “change” at once. You must realign your priorities. Until you change your habit(s) and make the time for your new commitment(s) - initial attempts to succeed are limited. You must understand in order to see a change; you need to make a change. Once you have reached that goal – no matter how long it takes – THEN start working on your next goal.
(3). P.E.P.S → Plan, Educate, Positivity and Support
PLAN - You would not go on a road trip without a map/directions, right? Nor would you start a new meal from scratch without a recipe, correct? Your goal(s) needs to be treated the same way. What plan of action are you going to take to ensure you achieve it? Create an action-oriented plan that states what you are going to do and what you need to execute those goals. Be as specific as you can. What obstacles might you encounter along the way? What is your strategy to overcome them before/when they arise?
EDUCATE - It is the utmost importance to know what you are doing before you start any kind of workout regiment or modifying your diet. Unfortunately - media has saturated people’s minds on what to eat…..what not to eat…..lose weight this way….do this workout…do that workout. Your healthy lifestyle is all about YOU. We live different lifestyles. We all have a different body. One way of eating may work for your friend but not necessarily for you. Your co-workers workout regimen may be for his/her goals but not yours. In order to successfully adapt a healthy lifestyle - you must do what is enjoyable to you. You must eat foods that you enjoy. Find exercises that you enjoy. There is something out there for everyone. You just have to look for it. If you do anything that is not enjoyable, inconvenient, dreadful….you will not continue to do it. Get your questions answered that specifically pertain to your goals. To ensure you have the correct answers to your questions - turn to fitness professional or the a QUALIFIED source(s) from the Internet.
POSITIVITY - Everyone falls off the wagon at some point. You will have a bad day of eating and/or miss a workout and when that happens - you should not be discouraged. Remind yourself you are human and “mistakes” will happen. The trick is not having that bad “meal” turn into a bad week/month of eating poorly or missing a workout to being missing weeks/months of workouts. Get back on track as soon as possible. Recognize why the “mistake” happened and learn from it so you can avoid the mistake again. Treat yourself like you would a cherished friend or adored child. Don't be mean to yourself; slip-ups are inevitable. Rather than, "I knew I would fail," tell yourself, "Of course you'll succeed. You just had a bad day yesterday.”
SUPPORT - There is NO shame in asking for help. Anyone who has had great success in any area of their life had a mentor, teacher or significant relationship with someone who supported and guided them along the way. Your support can come from work, home, friends and/or at a fitness club. Without the proper support - these changes will become more challenging as time goes on. Find a friend/co-worker that wants the same “changes” or has the same goals as you. If your budget allows – consider hiring a personal trainer that will customize a plan specifically to you and your personal fitness/health goals. Working with others who truly care about your success makes the process more engaging and fun. Letting your friends/family know about the goals you have set for yourself will not only keep you accountable but an outside set of eyes will help you see creative solutions to areas where you sometimes feel stuck.