We're just over three weeks into 2017, and all the gyms are now chock-full of "resolutioners" trying to meet their new year goals. The question is, how well prepared are you to accomplish yours?
Year after year, you may find that you start off strong. You adhere to your diet, increase the number of times you tread the revolving walkway, and get to bed on time for plenty of sleep; however, once February rolls around, some of these priorities start to slide down the list. It's understandable that family sometimes takes precedence, or you have a deadline at work to meet, or maybe you're tired. Slowly, you begin to skip more days. Or maybe just that one cookie won't hurt?
Before you know it, it's mid-February and you're back to the same monotonous routine of drinking your morning cup of sugar from Starbucks (don't kid yourself, that creamy beverage has more sugar than a can of pop), and going to work and eating lunch at Wendy's. By the time you get home, you're back to collapsing on the couch and eating a big bowl of pasta while binge watching the newest release on Netflix.
So, where does it all fall apart? The problem begins with the entire new year's resolution concept. You're expected to set a long-term goal that requires daily attention and dedication, but the reward for reaching the goal doesn't come until much later. The human mind/body is built around short-term gratification, so without seeing the daily rewards, your ability to adhere to those long-term goals is impaired!
Below are some of my best ideas to battle this pitfall, and how to create New Year's goals that get done:
1. Set a long-term goal. Not just an "I won't eat out more than once a week" goal. No, this goal needs to be lifted to the stratosphere. Aim for something you almost can't even envision. For example, obtaining that washboard set of abs you see on all those social media models.
2. Break down this goal into smaller goals. Using the six-pack abs goal as an example, estimate how much weight you think you need to lose, then divide that into equal pieces for each month. Simple enough, now the goal is starting to seem more tangible.
3. Like #2, breakdown these smaller goals into mini-goals. Set a target weight for each week.
4. List out the habits you need to change to achieve your goal. Habits like eating more vegetables, attending more fitness classes, lifting weight a certain number of times per week, eating out less, sleeping more, etc. These mini-goals, over time, will add up to your final objective.
5. Quantize your goals. Meaning, don't just say "I'm going to start eating more vegetables & protein". Give your goal some numbers, and a deadline like "On Monday, Jan 23, I will begin eating a minimum of 4 servings of fresh, green vegetables every day". Set these goals, and write them down. It is vital to write them down! Over time, you will begin to lose track of these mini-goals, and have no way to keep yourself accountable.
6. Grab that Goal by the shirt collar, bring it real close, and whisper menacingly "Not this time. It's going to happen, and there is nothing you can do stop it." You must COMMAND your goals to obey your wishes. Envision yourself succeeding, have an all-encompassing passion for it. You set the goal because it is clearly very important to you. And if it's important, you will MAKE time for it.