Making New Years Resolutions Stick
Most resolutions seem to focus on improving our attendance at the gym, or making that number on the scale creep downward. It probably doesn't help that we've spent most of the last month eating and drinking until we made ourselves sick. Ultimately, resolutions are goals that we set for ourselves. Goals, whether they be focused on fitness, weight loss, or something different altogether, can be effective ways of helping us become the best versions of ourselves. And so I've decided to include some tips to ensure that come February, you're still successfully working towards achieving your resolution.
When making your New Years resolution, be honest with yourself. Just because you should do something, doesn't mean that you actually want to. There are things we all should do but choose not to. For example, I should, and I'm blaming my NY roots here, cut down on my pizza intake, but truthfully it's not something that I really want to do. Goals need to be something that you actually want to do and that you're ready to change about yourself. Only you can answer the question, "Is this something I really want to do?"
Once you've decided on what you want to work towards, making your goal is a SMART goal will help ensure your success.
First, is it Specific? What is your plan? What steps are you going to take to achieve your goal? The more specific and thought out your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.
Measurable? Having a goal that is measurable will help you to determine if you were successful or not and allow yourself to be accountable for your choices. Are you going to exercise for 30 minutes? How many days a week are you going to go to the gym? In my case, did I actually cut my pizza intake down to three meals/week?
Achievable? Is this goal something you actually want to work towards? Is competing in a triathlon something you want to do, even if you hate to swim? In other words, is your goal doable?
Realistic? It is important that we all know our limits. Not all of us can beat a world record or win a gold medal, but we can try to achieve our own personal records. Be sure that your goal is something that you can actually be successful with.
Timely? While we would all like to lose our entire weight loss goal in the first two weeks of our new weight loss attempt, we know that's impossible. Give yourself a realistic time period to achieve your goal.
And lastly, be sure to celebrate the small successes that come with making a long term change and don't be discouraged when there are setbacks. There is an ebb and flow to all of our lives and nothing worth achieving isn't worth working for.
Happy New Year!
Clinical Exercise Physiologist
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