To be honest, I'm not a big New Year Resolutions kinda gal. Don't get me wrong, I do like the feeling of fresh start with the new year, but I've never been one to set specific resolutions for myself. BUT I do know that many people do like to make some goals this time of year, many that center around health. So, I thought I would chit chat with you all about some strategies that I've found effective when trying to stick with my personal health goals throughout the years.
I know, we all want things to happen FAST, especially if we're talking about weight loss. But lofty goals are often not sustainable goals. Be realistic with yourself. Be HONEST with yourself. For example, if you're not going to the gym at all right now, and your resolution is to go more, don't set a goal to go four times per week. Too much, too soon, guys. Start small! Start by going maybe one or two times per week, and work UP to four times. Baby steps are KEY.
So, you want to go the gym more in the New Year? Or maybe you want to eat healthier? That's AWESOME and I'm totally rooting you on, but you've gotta get a bit more specific with me. What does going to the gym "more" and eating "healthier" really mean? Does that mean heading to the gym two times per week for thirty minutes? Eating 3 cups of fruits and veggies per day as opposed to your usual one cup? The more specific you are with your resolutions, or goals, the more likely you are to stick with them. Why, you ask? Because you'll actually know if you achieved your resolution or goal. If you tell yourself you just want to go to the gym more, that could mean really anything and you may be less likely to hold yourself accountable. By being specific you'll know when you have (or haven't) achieved your goal. Here's an example of a resolution/goal for ya (that I hope to stick to myself):
I will go to the gym four days per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) for an hour each time.
See how specific I got there? Now at the end of each week I can check in with my resolution/goal and really know if I met it or not. Don't get freaked out by making your goals this specific either - if you find out after a week that your goal isn't realistic for you, that's ok! You can always go back and change it.
Write your goals down.
You know those specific resolutions and goals we just talked about? Write those bad boys down! I'm talking pen to paper, friends. AND put that paper somewhere you're going to see it each and every day. Maybe that means putting it on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, or maybe on your work desk. Put that piece of paper wherever you think will be your best "reminder place". For me, writing things down solidifies them. It's almost like my own little personal contract with myself, (does that make make me sound nutty?) and if I put that piece of paper somewhere I see it each day I'm going to feel pretty dang guilty if I don't work towards my goals.
Tell someone all about your resolutions.
Oh yes. You guys know that once you tell someone about your resolutions there's no turning back. Well, I guess technically there is turning back, but do you really want to tell your friend that you aren't sticking with your goal of going to the gym? Me neither! I want you to tell someone that you talk with regularly about the goals you've set for yourself. It may be a coworker you work closely with, your significant other, your mom or dad, a friend...whoever you're going to talk to on a regular basis!
Find a buddy.
When working towards a goal having a buddy is so helpful. If you have someone in your life that is also setting some resolutions for the New Year, buddy up with them! This tip and the one above is all about ACCOUNTABILITY. This buddy is going to give you someone that you'll check in with on a weekly basis, and you'll both be able to hold each other accountable for the goals/resolutions you've set.
These five strategies are all ones that I use myself, and that I've also used with my health coaching clients. They really work, guys! So, if you're working towards some goals this year give one or two of these strategies a try, and let me know if they help you stick with your resolutions.
Cheers to a New Year!