Make Your Resolutions Stick | The Cycle Project

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Make Your Resolutions Stick

New Years is finally here, which means most of us are making those New Year’s Resolutions.   However, in 2002 The Journal of Clinical Psychology’s did a study that found:

Percentage of Americans who usually make New Year’s resolutions: 45%
Percentage of people who are successful in achieving their resolution: 8%
Resolutions maintained past first month: 64%
Resolutions maintained past six months: 26%
Among the top three resolves are to lose weight, save money and quit bad habits.

So…we have a lot of people making healthy resolutions, but not following through…until now!  This is the year that you can keep your resolutions, just by following a few simple steps.

 

1.    Goals

Resolutions are nothing more than goals wrapped in a fancy name since the New Year is one of the best times to embrace a new start.  And since they are simply goals, you should to treat them like any other goal.

You need to create a clear, defined goal that has emotion attached to it.  I have found when you are able to add all of these keys to your goal setting, you will be able to stay on track a lot more often than by just picking a resolution/goal.

First and foremost you need to find a way to attach an emotion to your goal, This is Your WHY!  This is the thing that will keep you moving forward when things get a tough, or you want to quit.  The way to find this emotion in your goal is to keep asking yourself “Why”.

I had a client once who started off with a goal of wanting to lose weight, which is a very vague goal at best.  Upon asking why?, why?, why?  It came out that they had one parent die from complication of diabetes, the other was currently experience some complications from diabetes and they were afraid they were headed down that same path and wanted to change.  That fear of following in those steps is a lot more powerful reason to keep working towards a goal, than just to lose a few pounds.

Next, you need to clarify your goal so there is an end date/time and you will have a definitive way to measure whether or not you made it.  Saying I want to lose 5 lbs, is ok, but it vague.  Vague Goals Lead To Vague Results! Instead try a goal that has your ending weight (not that you should be too focused on just the scale to begin with.) and an ending time.

If you are 100 pounds right now, instead of saying you want to lose 5 lbs, your goal would be To Weighh 95 lbs.  Then add an ending date.  So if today is Jan 1st, you would want to achieve that goal by Feb 5th at 9am when you wake up.

Now you have a great goal.  On Feb 5th at 9am when you step on the scale, you either hit your 95 lb goal or you didn’t.    Now the goal won’t keep rolling over until maybe you hit that 5 lbs.  If you are serious about this, you will take the steps to get to 95 lbs buy Feb 5th at 9am!

Finally, write your goals down; And then post them in strategic places where you will see them numerous times each day.   I like the bathroom mirror, so I see them first thing when I wake up and right before bed.  Your desk is a good option, or if you have trouble overeating, put it on the fridge as a reminder as you are making dinner. Our subconscious is a powerful thing, so by seeing these goals a lot throughout the day, it will help you prepare to reach these goals.


2.    Set Realistic Goals

When you are setting your goals, you need to be both realistic in your goals as well as making them sustainable.   You need to able to decipher between short term and long term goals.  If you think back, I am sure you will realize that it took you a while to get out of shape, maybe even years.  Since that is the case, it will take a while and perhaps a year to get to your ultimate goal.

Saying you want to lose 50 lbs in January is just not going to happen.  Don’t set yourself up with an unrealistic goal like that.   I guarantee that if you plan on losing weight the proper healthy way, that goal will never happen and you just set yourself up to fail.  Make the 50 punds a long term goal.  Start with being down 6-10 lbs the first month and then get down the 50 lbs by July 1stat 9am!

On average, through exercise and proper eating, you should plan about 1-2 lbs of weight loss a week, except for in the beginning if you are obese, you could lose weight more quickly.

Also important is making sure you ease into new things so you can sustain them.   A lot of people try to change everything at once and fail because there are too many new things they are trying to do.  If you are adding exercise into your goals, start off slowly and ease into a harder routine.  If you have been a couch potato, hitting the gym 3x a week and running 10 mi twice a week, may not happen.  But you can start light lifting a few times a week and say a walk/run program to get you going until you are able to do the other.

The same thing holds true for nutrition.  Don’t try and completely revamp your nutrition plan overnight.  Pick a few easy changes to start with and then add the other changes slowly down the road.

 

3.    Hydration

Often overlooked, hydration is one of the simplest things you can add to your resolutions to help you get healthier.   Hydration helps with digestion, skin, keeps you from feeling tired and sluggish and also keeps you from having that “snack time feeling” all the time.  So many healthy benefits just from staying properly hydrated, why wouldn’t you?  A general rule for hydration is drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. And add more if you are exercising.


4.    Get Back Up

Chances are there is going to be a time when you have a slip up and don’t stick to your plan.  That’s fine.  It happens to everyone.  The important thing is to get back on track as soon as possible.  Too many times a person will have a bad lunch and decide the day is ruined so they might as well have a poor dinner too.  Or miss a workout on Thursday, so better wait until Monday to get back on track…all of those will lead to failed goals.   The key is if and when you have the bad meal or the missed workout, to get back on track right away.  There is no need to wait until a future “event” or new day.

My favorite analogy…if you were getting some eggs out of the fridge to make an omelet, and while you were pulling the carton out an egg fell on the floor and broke…would you throw the rest of the dozen eggs on the floor and then start with a new carton?  Or would you just clean up that one broken egg and then use whats left in the carton?

It’s the same thing with a meal or a workout.  If you miss one, or its bad, you don’t have to sacrifice the rest of the day or week before you “start again”. Just clean up the mess and start over at the next possible time.

 

Resolutions have probably, at some point in your past, been forgotten about weeks or months into the New Year.  However, following these four simple rules will help keep you on track for your goals throughout the year as well as obtain them!

If you have any questions or need help setting up your goals, email me today and we will get you started!

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