I’m so over New Years resolutions. Aren’t you? Do you really ever follow through with them? I personally believe that if you are serious about making a legit change to your life you wouldn’t wait until January 1st to get started. But despite my feelings toward resolutions, and being that I’m a personal trainer, I do see the importance of people using ANYTHING as motivation to start living a healthier lifestyle.
I thought about getting into the semantics of the difference between goals and resolutions as many people do, but ultimately decided that’s not very important. What’s important is that you want to do something big with your life in the New Year and possibly make a lasting change! My advice? Go at it very GRADUALLY! Don’t overwhelm yourself with a ton of new life changes on January 1st. Take it step by step, otherwise, you might crash and burn, which is probably why you never followed through with your resolutions in the past. Here’s the best way to go about it:
1. Break your resolution down into small, realistic, attainable goals. Say your resolution is that you want to lose 20 lbs this year. Definitely realistic depending on how much fat you have to lose. Then break that down into the changes (smaller goals) you’ll need to make to achieve that resolution. Some examples of smaller goals could be adding 3 days of 30-60 minutes of exercise, daily dog walks, drinking more water, eating more protein and veggies, and decreasing your consumption of processed foods.
2. Meet your goals one by one. Don’t try to attack two goals at once if you can’t handle attacking one at a time. Make sure it becomes a habit before moving on to the next habit-forming goal. You’ll want to do this because it’ll make attacking the next goal much easier.
3. Maintain your habit changes for the long haul. Don’t decide on January 1st that you’re going to go from 0 to 7 days a week of hardcore, intense training and revert your crappy diet to a “clean” diet consisting of only 1200 calories overnight. 1. You’re going to be a miserable SOB that no one wants to be around, and 2. You’re going to fail…real hard. By taking things one step at a time and making realistic changes that you can keep in your life for the long haul, you will be MUCH more successful!
Like my husband (and quite possibly your grandma) always says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” View your resolution as one, big elephant and those little bites as the smaller goals. You just have to chip away at them by slowly changing your habits. Eventually you will realize that you have accomplished something huge and actually made a true resolution!
In case you’re curious if I have any resolutions, well, not really. I’ll be doing a lot of business-related things this year which I’m really (!!!) excited about, but that’s not really a resolution. I also think I’m kind of past the point of wanting to make any major physique changes and I want to put that focus into other things. I’m pretty content and happy with my body these days, and really, isn’t that the overall goal? Don’t get me wrong, I have no plans to cease my training and give up my healthy, moderate diet. But they won’t be on the forefront of my mind. At this point they are a given in my life. They are habits and important players in my lifestyle that will never disappear. But now that that is the case, I can put some focus and energy into some new things!
Good luck on your resolutions this year! Remember, “slow and steady wins the race!”