Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Resolution Success

Happy New Year, friends!

I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions or really even found it a time where I do new goal setting. It’s always been something I’ve assisted clients in doing but typically my philosophy is that when it comes to fitness and diet-related New Year’s resolutions, they are almost always short lived due to the nature of the “resolution” idea. This year is different. It’s the first year in 4 years where I don’t have some big, heavy, and unfinished business looming in the coming year. It’s the first year in what feels like an eternity that truly feels like a fresh start. A new year with a lot less baggage that has been carried into previous years. 

As a result, I’ve found myself sitting down and writing out the things I want to accomplish this year - habits I want to make, things I want to learn and goals I want to accomplish. Like most people, I have the tendency to want to take on more than I can reasonably maintain for the long term right out of the gate. I have to remind myself that “slow and steady wins the race”, that baby steps are truly the key to long term success. As I went through my own process and adjusting my course of action and expectations I thought this would be a helpful time to share with you all some of my best tips for making health/fitness/weight loss resolutions and goals as we head into this new year.

If you’re anything like me, you set a goal and you go all out on day one. And then you quickly realize that this pace is nearly impossible to maintain. This is true of every aspect of life - regardless of your goal. We want to see immediate results so we go overboard in our attempt to get them. This always backfires. It’s important to set small, progressive goals so the new lifestyle becomes a habit. If you’re setting a goal this year to be more healthy, active, fit, etc - here are a few tips to help you make it stick.

  • Fitness/Health is not an event, it’s a lifestyle. I have never had anyone have long term, lasting success in this area when they tie it to an event (vacation, wedding, reunion, etc) This is short-lived. When you do anything for other people, it’s never going to last. Your fitness/health goal needs to be for YOU and only you. Need some reasons to do it for yourself? Alone time. More energy. Long term health. Healthy weight. Heart health. 
  • Take baby steps. Joining a gym and committing to go
    every day of the week is absolutely, 100% guaranteed NOT to last. I typically tell clients who are just starting out to start with 2 days a week. Keep it simple - maybe it’s walking on the treadmill or a total body weight lifting routine. Do this for 2-3 weeks and when this feels manageable go ahead and add another day. And keep doing this until you reach the goal of 5-6 days a week of workouts. 
  • Balance is key. If you feel like you might be going to the extreme, you probably are. Don’t expect to go from holiday overindulgence to eating chicken and broccoli everyday. Don’t get crazy - make small changes like drinking more water, less soda. Eat more protein and healthy fats. Limit eating out. 
  • Accountability is key. Have a friend, spouse/partner, coach that you can be accountable to. If having a workout buddy helps you or going to a class will keep you accountable, then by all means, do it! When you have to answer to someone you are more likely to follow through.
  • Measure your progress. I hate the scale. I think it’s good to know your approximate weight and keep it in the healthy range for your age and height but aside from that I do not recommend it. My favorite way to measure progress is JEANS. Find a pair of jeans that you want to fit into, that you feel are your perfect size and try them on once a month, once a week or whatever you decide. This is highly motivating and not nearly as defeating as that silly scale!

Remember, if you “fall off the wagon” at any point this year, you don’t need to wait until next January to start again - no matter what your goal is. If you get off track, big deal. Brush it off and get back in the game. It’s ain’t over til you quit. Don’t ever quit. 

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