Did you start January filled with shiny new resolutions to finally achieve your dream body?
But then, as the weeks slugged by you started to find excuses to cheat. Your diet went off track. That daily run on your treadmill suddenly took up too much time. Your routine started to slacken, and one day, you realized it was the end of the first month and you’d already failed.
Yup… it’s a common problem.
We start out each New Year with optimistic health goals, but within weeks we’re back to our same old lazy ways. Well, it doesn’t have to be like this anymore!
We’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions once and for all!
We know everyone has New Year’s resolutions and everyone wants to talk about them, but it’s not a competition. Your resolutions are for you to better your life and yours alone. Just because the person that sits next to you at work said they’re going to cure world hunger, doesn’t mean your goals aren’t lofty enough.
Your list doesn’t have to have a ton of things on it to make it worthwhile. In fact, for success it’s better to have fewer goals on the list. When you have less things you feel like you need to accomplish it’s easier to focus on them and get them done.
It’s like any to-do list you make for yourself. When you only have three things on there you are ready to get them done. When it’s a page long, it’s daunting, and you already feel discouraged with the thought of not being able to get it done.
This just means that instead of writing down one goal that takes many different things to accomplish, make each of those things a sub-goal. For instance, if one of your goals is to run a marathon, break it down.
Make different levels of your training into their own individual accomplishment. Getting your time down by a certain amount could be a goal. Running a 5K as prep could be another.
This way you are getting closer to your main goal, but you are able to see the progress you are making along the way.
This is a concept that’s important to keep in mind when you are setting your resolutions. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
Keep these things in mind when you add something to your list. If it doesn’t fit all of the criteria, you may just want to modify it a little bit. It doesn’t mean you have to scrap the idea all together, you’re just setting yourself up for success when you’re setting SMART goals.
This is a big one. We are all guilty of making excuses for why we aren’t doing the things to stick with our resolutions. The easiest one to throw out there is, “I don’t have time!”
An easy way to avoid this is to put it in your schedule. Don’t leave it to chance. Schedule it for the same time everyday so you know that’s what you’re going to be doing at that time.
Research shows it takes 66 days for something to become a habit. When you’re talking about your New Year’s resolutions, that’s only about two months. Once you reach that point, the next ten months will have you sailing toward your goals with no excuses.
This can go hand-in-hand with your scheduling. Make milestones or set target dates in your schedule. Success even in small doses is powerful motivation, it’s backed by science. When you achieve success, your brain releases dopamine which makes you feel happy.
We’re talking about the motivation behind your resolutions. Why did you pick the ones that you did? For instance, do you want to lose weight to help prevent heart disease? Are you wanting to eat healthy to improve your cholesterol?
As time passes and things get busy it can be easy to lose sight of why you set those particular resolutions in the first place. Remind yourself. Keeping the motivation behind your choices in mind can really help you better stick to your plan.
This may sound like we’re about to repeat ourselves, but stick with us. Now we’re talking about day-to-day motivation to get up and get working. There are a lot of ways to do this, but we’ll just touch on a few tried and true methods.
Agree to work out with a friend or join a local group. When you are held accountable to others, you’re much more likely to show up. Dragging yourself out of bed at six in the morning for a run may not be so appealing. But if you know someone is waiting for you, you don’t want to be the one that doesn’t show up.
You can also join a Facebook group or a group on your favorite fitness app. This gives you a chance to share your experiences and your triumphs. This is a powerful form of motivation, not just for you but for the others in the group. You’ll be seeing your success and have others cheering you on to keep pushing for that next milestone.
Positive reinforcement is super important. When you reach those milestones that you put in your schedule, treat yourself to a little something.
This may just be the most important key to the whole deal. We all slip and we all miss days, but it doesn’t discount all of the progress that you’ve made. There’s no shame because you missed a day or two at the gym…or even a week. Just get back up and keep going. You’ll feel better for it in the long run because you didn’t give up.
We know that New Year’s resolutions may not be the most exciting thing when March rolls around and the shine wears off. However, keep this tips in mind as the weeks go by and you’ll be ready for new, exciting resolutions next year.