We all know that come every January, most people will have a resolution or some type of goal they want to reach. And that’s great to have something to focus on and achieve. What many people don’t understand in terms of why they never achieve their goals, is that its hard. Studies show that creating change takes time and the best way to reach success is if you can make one change at a time, until it becomes a habit or ‘sticks’.
For instance, say you want to lose weight you’ve gained over the holidays and currently have no idea where to start. You’ve never exercised before, don’t know what you should be eating, heck, you don’t even know where the nearest fitness club is. Why not make a simple change to get started?
- walk 15 minutes/day during your lunch break
- if say, you drink more than one cup of coffee and know you don’t drink enough water, have a glass of water after each cup of coffee you drink. Or better yet, cut down your coffee to 2 cups/day versus any more.
- have breakfast
- cut out all processed foods. If its man-made, don’t buy it.
Once you can follow one of these changes for a good 2 weeks (try to pick one that won’t be too difficult to do and you won’t loathe), add a second habit to change/create/break. Overtime, the changes become more of a routine, and thus, a new habit is created. There are many reasons people don’t create the changes they want. Sometimes they expect changes right away, or they think it should be easy and once they hit a hurdle, they give up. Trust me, if it was easy, everyone you see would be looking awesome and I would be out of business (and every other personal trainer out there! :-)). A great way to have a plan for success, is to follow the acronym S.M.A.R.T.
S.pecific. Make a specific goal. So you want to lose weight, that’s fantastic. How much weight? Do you want to lose 10 lbs or drop down 2 or 3 dress sizes. Be specific.
M.easurable. How do you know if you’re on the right track or staying on track? Make sure you can measure your progress. ie. Take weekly measurements and your weight.
A.ction-oriented. Make a plan to follow through with your goal. If you decide to go for a daily walk, then plan it into your day, everyday. Better yet, go with a co-worker and it ends up being more fun.
R.ealistic. Sometimes resolutions fail drastically because people expect amazing results that are just not realistic. If you gained 20 lbs in a year you can’t lose it in a month (unless you did some crazy Dr. Bernstein diet, but then you can thank him for all the loose skin you’ll get). Set a realistic goal, ie. lose 1-2 lbs per week.
T.imely. Set a date to reach your goal. Whether its for spring or a beach holiday coming up. Make it a high priority and don’t change the date.
I hope these tips help with your New Years resolutions! And if you don’t want to call it that and just want to get healthier and fitter, then please use these tips and share them with others you think would benefit.
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