Set, Reach, and Maintain Your Goals
Getting through the holidays and maintaining any sort of diet and fitness discipline is tough, even for the pros. With a new year right around the corner, it's time for us to get our minds and bodies right. Get back in the zone, make new year's fitness resolutions, get out there, take action, and make it happen.
Too often the new year comes, we make new fitness goals, we start out strong, and then we get discouraged, frustrated, or lost, and lose sight of our goals, or the reasons why we started the journey to begin with.
This year WILL be different. Why? Because I am going to give you a GREAT guide to help you start strong, stay strong, finish strong, and maintain a healthy, fit lifestyle for the rest of your life!
Here is your Guide to Sticking to your New Year's Resolutions:
- Set Realistic Goals
- There is nothing wrong with reaching for the sky, however, if we want to conquer the moon, we must first learn to fly.
- First, set your long term goal, and then figure out the first small goal needed to take you toward that big goal.
- Focus on ONE thing at a time
- Even the best multi-taskers have a hard time juggling a million things at once. It's best if you set 1-2 realistic goals, rather than 100 hard-to-accomplish-right-now goals.
- Choose what goals are most important to you at this point in time, then, pick one and focus on that one for the first 8 weeks.
- Be specific about your goals
- Don't just say, I want to be skinny, be specific about your goals. Instead figure out EXACTLY what you want.
- Examples: I want to eat healthier by not eating as much fast food, or I want to be able to climb a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, which means I need to focus on getting my cardio in good condition.
- Hold yourself accountable
- For most of us, we take it way too easy on ourselves. We give ourselves too many cheat days or days off when we really could've tried harder. So, in order not to fall into this trap, find ways to hold yourself accountable.
- Post your goals on Facebook, or other social media, and post about your actions everyday, even if you slacked off and laid in bed. Hold yourself accountable to the accomplishments, and the setbacks.
- Set notifications on your phone telling you to stick to the plan.
- Hook up with a buddy, online or in person, and go out together or sign up for group classes.
- Find a support group
- Even if we are trying to hold ourselves accountable, there are many days that we will fall off and need someone there to help coach us back on track. Hooking up with a coach or support group will help with this greatly.
- By having daily access to your group and/or coach, you will be able to vent about struggles, rave about progress, and help others that are going through the same experiences as you.
- Learn to bounce back when life gets in the way
- Most of the time, if things come up that take us away from reaching our goals, we throw in the towel and say "we'll try again next year." Just because life interferes and throws us off our game for a week or two, or even a month or more, does NOT mean we have failed or that we give up. Take care of life, get things straight, and then get back on the track to your goals.
- Just because you veer off the course, doesn't mean you can't find your way back.
- Change habits GRADUALLY so you don't run out of steam
- When the new year comes, we tend to get really excited and try to go at full speed into accomplishing our goals. While the intensions are good, this particular approach tends to lead to failure. Because we go all in right away, we have failed to make long lasting habits, so we tend to fizzle out, and then we quit.
- Instead, go ahead and get excited, and then break down your goals into really small baby steps. Accomplish the easiest step first, then precede your new habit with something that is already in your daily routine that will trigger your new habit. (example: wake up & prepare breakfast (regular habit), exercise and then eat prepared breakfast (new habit))
- Each week, gradually add on to your new habits or make the new habit a bit more challenging, such as make a healthy breakfast instead of your regular not-so-healthy breakfast, or exercise AND make a healthy breakfast, and lunch, and continue this method for 8 weeks.
- This method will build long lasting habits, that you will be able to maintain for the rest of your life and not just for a few months.
- Find things you enjoy in order to reach your goals, so don't need to depend on discipline.
- Being disciplined takes a great amount of practice. While discipline is achievable, it is a learned behavior and therefore when first starting out, it is much more practical to reach your goals by gravitating towards things you enjoy doing vs doing things you don't like and forcing yourself to do them.
- If you want to focus on exercise figure out how you can get exercise without making it a chore. Do you like to dance? Take a zumba class or dance lessons. Do you like to act goofy and play around? Try a jumpology trampoline park. Do you like to socialize? Gather your friends and make a fun daily 'walk/run in the park' with your friends and go out for a healthy meal afterwards. Want to focus on diet? Pick on new fun recipe to cook a week. Have a sweet tooth? Challenge yourself to find "healthy" sweet treat recipes and try making them.
You are in control, so make it interesting and fun!
The main things to remember are baby steps and to make it enjoyable. Without these two key elements, your New Year's Fitness Resolutions will fizzle, fade, and fail.
Start small, take baby steps towards your goals, choose fun and interesting activities, tell the world about it, preach about it, find a focus group or coach, and before you know it, you will be CRUSHING your 2015 Goals!
I KNOW 2015 is YOUR year to shine and to prove to everyone that you can accomplish ANYTHING you set your mind to.
Set, Reach, Maintain, Repeat....