The New Year has come and gone, but New Year’s Resolutions still linger… Some chose to lose weight, others to improve physical fitness or build muscle. The majority of us returned to the same resolutions we set the year before, and the year before that, and the year before that. This underlines a sad reality: most ‘resolution’ efforts fail in full or at best, in part. Not this time! Here are four simple steps to work through your resolution and stay on it past January 5th:
Identify Potential Problem Areas and Strategize
Everybody has a weakness. By knowing yourself and where you’re prone to stumble you can avoid backsliding on your goals and ensure that you make sustained progress. For example, if you don’t like to go out into the cold unless you absolutely have to (like the house being on fire) then going to the gym during the winter months will be an obvious foreseeable challenge. In this case, you could schedule gym visits around other commitments when you are already out and about, or go straight from work. Get creative on how to outwit your most basic inclinations, and by cheating your intellect, you win!
Remember Last Year…In a Good Way!
You can be a great source of motivation for yourself. By looking back over the previous year you can identify how you improved and used it to spur you on to your progress. Even if you are backsliding on your original goals chances are you’re making progress in absolute terms. For instance, if you never took note of portion sizes or nutrition label reading last year, but now its a normal part of your lifestyle, you have improved your eating habits overall. Same with exercise- even if your weight loss goal was not met, if you increased your visits to the gym or the intensity of your workouts, you are in better shape than last year. Ensure that your resolution has measurable aspects, so even if the larger objective is looming for another ten years, you can work toward smaller accomplishments that will get you closer to meeting that goal eventually.
Get specific, Get Small.
Vagueness is your enemy when it comes to setting and keeping resolutions. Don’t resolve to “Eat more healthfully.” What are you really asking of yourself? Resolve to “Eat breakfast,” “pack a lunch,” “stop eating fast food,” or “cook dinner at home”. When it comes to fitness, there are many smaller, more specific goals that combined will achieve the results you are looking for, than just “lose 20lbs”. Consider increasing gym visits per week, or adding one more class of a format you love per week, or learning how to use free weights. All these smaller goals are easier to attain and stick with, while cumulatively driving you toward your goal.
Ask for Help.
Seeking advice or guidance on how to achieve your goals can also help you stick to your resolutions. Maybe you don’t really know how to achieve that goal you keep setting for yourself every year. Admit that! Why keep banging your head against the wall? Get humble and ask for help. There are trained professionals that can help you. After all, you wouldn’t set the goal of ‘getting smarter’ then attempt some brain surgery on yourself a few times at the beginning of the year, would you? For a free consultation with a Personal Trainer at Federal Hill Fitness email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Not for brain surgery, for weight loss!).