I’ve been working in fitness centers and wellness centers for over 15 years. Let me tell you the predictable trend. January is crazy, you are waiting for a cardio machine, classes are packed, personal trainers have their best deals of the year, yoga classes are suddenly stressful and crowded… its nuts. Why… you know why… New Years Resolutions. February gets a little less crowded, and March people start canceling appointments, discontinuing memberships, and getting back to business as usual: eating out, skipping workouts, drinking wine on weekends (you know what I’m referring to, don’t you?). We’ve all been there.
New Years Resolutions are a great opportunity to assess where you are in life and where you want to be. People start referrring to their expectations, regrets and bucket lists and then create drastic plans to achieve goals. The unfortunate part, is that these plans are always realistic or sustainable. So please don’t give now, just reevaluate your plan. Here are a few tips and tricks to achieving your goals for 2018.
1. Define Your Goals. Set SMART Goals:
- Specific. Set goals that are specific to the results you want to achieve. For example, rather than “I will lose weight”, “I will lose 15 lbs through balanced nutrition and 30 minutes of exercise 4 days/week.”
- Measurable. How can you measure your success? “I will lose 1 pound per week. I will measure my success by weighing myself each week”
- Action-Oriented. How will you be proactive about achieving your goal? “I will wake up 30 minutes early each day to fit in 30 minutes of exercise at home or at the gym 5 days per week”. “I will practice portion control, pack my lunches, and minimize eating out to 1 day/week.”
- Realistic. Can you realistically achieve your goals? This is important! Are your goals safe? Do they fit into your lifestyle? Do you have the proper knowledge and resources to execute your plan? Is it sustainable?
- Timely. When would you like to achieve your results by? Do you have a specific date? An event? Give yourself a timeline to not only achieve your goals, but to check in on your progress.
- Allow Flexibility. Give yourself some grace. If your goals were too ambitious, or life threw a curveball, don’t give up- just modify your plan a bit. Maybe you need to enlist some help & support, practice time management, or re-prioritize. There can be many paths, don’t get stuck on just one.
3. Be Honest With Yourself.
When discussing weight loss, I hear people say this sentence all the time: “I’m doing everything right, but nothing is working”. Yes, sometimes this is the case, but rarely. When I hear this I start digging… how often are you eating out? Are you watching your portion sizes? How often are you getting physical activity? Then the truth starts coming out, not because they are lying to me, but because it is easy to overlook areas for improvement. In this case I recommend keeping a food and activity journal. Write down the good the bad and the ugly. This will allow you to be more aware of your aggregate activity.
4. Believe You CAN Do It.
It may seem hard, but a marathon is a series of small steps. You just need to start with a few steps and work your way up. If your goal includes cleaning up your nutrition habits, start with one meal or changing one bad habit at a time .
5. Celebrate Every Success, Big or Small.
The end results are not the only thing to celebrate. Remember to set short-term goals and milestones throughout your journey. Celebrate positive attitudes, actions, changes, etc. The ultimate goal can be overwhelming if not broken into measurable chucks. The hardest thing for me to hear is “I’ve only lost 6 pounds, I have 30 more to go”… but you lost 6 pounds!!! Celebrate it! Be nice to yourself!
6. Don’t Give Up!!
My favorite saying is, “If not now, when?” Don’t wait until 2019 to set the same goal over again. Keep that goal in mind and make it happen, its worth it. Life really is too short to brush off your health, your bucket list, and your vision of your ideal self.
Go get ’em!!!