Remember that New Year’s resolution you made back in January? If you’re like 35 percent of people, that goal has been broken for well over a month and you’ve returned to your old habits. While it’s natural for this to make you feel discouraged, it’s important to remember that no one is perfect and there’s no reason you can’t start working toward those goals again. To give you the best possible chance at achieving your resolutions, here are three fool-proof strategies that will help you stick to your health and fitness goals.
1. Ditch the “all-or-nothing” attitude.
When you think it’s “all or nothing,” you will surely end up with nothing. You’re waging a war of will power versus habits, which is a recipe for disaster. Will power is a limited resource. Habits require no energy at all. They are effortless, which is bad for bad habits, but great for implementing new positive ones. Focus on making incremental sustainable positive changes. Think better, not perfect, and you are already on your way.
2. Make SMART Goals.
Make sure your goals are:
Specific: Instead of “I want my fitness to improve,” try, “I want to run a 12-minute mile.”
Measurable: Take note of your starting point (e.g., your energy level, how your clothes fit and feel), so you can celebrate your progress.
Attainable: Aim for your best YOU, not something you saw in a magazine.
Relevant: Choose goals that fit YOUR lifestyle. Focus on sustainable changes, not a hiatus from your everyday life.
Time-bound: Create short-term checkpoints—weekly or monthly, for example—to monitor your progress.
3. Start NOW.
Don’t let one off-goal choice derail your entire path, or a certain day of the week dictate when you’ll “start.” Start this moment with positive perspective. Each hour, each meal, each day is a new opportunity to make on-goal choices. You are not going to be on-point every time, but as long as you are making positive moves MOST of the time you will eventually hit your goal. You deserve to be YOUR personal best and that is 100 percent in YOUR control. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what you want and why you want it. Find that intrinsic motivation to encourage you and get back on track. Bad choices are only minor detours that allow you to learn, refocus, and reinforce your commitment to pursuing your goals. Celebrate that you are in this empowering position to realize your own dreams.
You are exactly where you are supposed to be, but there is always have room for a little tune-up. Now is the time to bring you’re A game. Just make sure you enjoy the process while we make this New Year your happiest yet.