If you're like most of us, you made a promise to yourself that in 2018 you will change your ways and lead a healthier lifestyle. And, if you're like most of us, you haven't learned over the years that making unrealistic resolutions, like, I'm going to exercise every-single-day this year, pretty much guarantees that resolution will turn into a failure. So why not take a different approach this year? Why not resolve to make more thoughtful, obtainable resolutions that you can adhere to? Let's get started.
So, you want to live healthier. When we set our intentions to exercise more and select healthier foods, we forget about the pull of the day to day, the struggle to get out of bed in the morning, the afternoon energy crashes, and the demands and stresses of our jobs and relationships. We make our resolutions and think about how we've failed in the past, but this year, somehow, we will be different.
Ask yourself, what can I do, right this very moment, to live healthier? Check out our 5 tips on how you can win this year’s resolution:
1. Keep your resolution focused
One of the major reasons resolutions fall short within the first few weeks of the New Year is that they’re too broad. If your resolutions sound something like, “I’m going to exercise more,” or “I want to lose 10 pounds,” you will inevitably lose sight of your goals and fall short. Instead, make one or two small, reasonable goals such as, “I want to lose 10 pounds by the end of the month,” or “I want to exercise at least 2-3 times a week”. The broader the goal, the more room there is to stray off the path. Keep it concise, so there’s no question later on what it was you were trying to accomplish.
It’s also important to note that change takes time. You aren’t going to hit your goals overnight, no matter how ideal that may seem. You need to ensure that you’re giving your body the time it needs to adjust to the changes you’re making for it. You want to guide your body in the direction you want, without putting too much strain on it.
2. Write your resolution down
Writing your fitness goals down immediately turns your resolution into something tangible that you can’t ignore, which is the entire point! After you’ve written your resolution down, be sure to keep it somewhere you can see every day, such as your work desk, or bathroom mirror. The more you read your resolution, the stronger impression it leaves in your mind and the stronger the success you’re setting yourself up for. Also, feel free to write down all your struggles and successes throughout your fitness journey. Being able to reference back on both the good and bad weeks can help you determine unhealthy patterns, and how you might be able to fix them in the future, as well as seeing how you’ve evolved over time.
3. Get support
It’s so easy to lose track of our fitness goals when we’re tackling them alone. Make sure you have reliable support to fall back on when you hit those inevitable rough patches throughout the year. Consider joining a fitness club, or joining a coworker at a workout class to help keep you on track. Or, simply try sharing your fitness resolutions with friends and family, both good and bad! Seek their advice when you’re having an off week and indulge in a little bragging when you’ve had a successful one! Being able to share your struggles and successes can make your fitness journey easier and less intimidating.
4. Don’t focus on the setbacks
It’s important to note that setbacks will happen. We’re all human! It’s okay if you missed one of your workouts due to a busy schedule or travel obligation, it’s bound to happen. Don’t allow it to overshadow your end goals when it does. So instead of punishing yourself for grabbing that sugary latte as an afternoon pick me up or worse, giving up on your resolution completely, ask yourself what can you do differently next time to ensure you’re hitting all your goals. Work to recover from your setback and get back on track.
5. Reward yourself
There’s nothing wrong with a little incentive to keep you motivated! Try setting minor goals on a weekly or monthly basis that tie directly into your end goal. Remember to keep these goals focused as well! If you set a goal to flawlessly follow your workout plan for two weeks straight and you obtain it…reward yourself! If you’re worried that indulging in a brownie or cookie may cause a setback, try buying yourself a new piece of workout apparel, or treat yourself to a pedicure. You’ll be amazed at how inspired you’ll feel to hit all of your fitness goals.