Ever wonder WHY your January intentions never go according to plan? Heck, maybe even your Monday intentions never seem to make it past Wednesday.
Why does this happen? The idea of a New Year is exciting, it sets a perfect and alluring stage for new habits, new chapters, new journeys. We buy all sorts of planners and workout equipment and meal prep tools, and read up on all the latest detoxes and fad diets slamming out inbox thinking: “This is it! This is the new me!”
But then come February, the enchantment fades out and the reality of life sets back in again.
Statistics show that only about 9% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions and change their habits. But that doesn't have to include you!
Achieving any weight/fitness goal requires changing habits. Habits are automatic, therefore changing them takes practice and consistency over time. Our habits are our comfort zones, and our subconscious builds these habits and scripts so that we can navigate through every day life without using our brain on full power all hours of the day (that would be exhausting). These subconscious scripts play on repeat every day, so even if we WANT things to be different, our subconscious plays in the background and gives us the same results. Ever hear “don’t keep doing the same things and expect different results” ? That’s what we’re getting at.
Although most people are not successful at their new years resolutions, HERE is how you can dodge the statistic and achieve your goals:
1. Break your goal up into specific actions.
If you set a large goal like: "lose 50lb", there are no clear pathways or directions of where to begin. Instead, take that goal of losing 50lb and make specific "action item" goals that are in line with the over arching goal. For example: cook 2-3 times a week, drink 64oz of water every single day, etc. These are habits you can begin to accumulate right now that are consistent with your goal.
2. Focus on one small change at a time.
In the spirit of the New Year and creation of resolutions, most of us put wayyyy too much pressure on ourselves and jump headfirst into a lifestyle entirely foreign from our current one. The mistake people make? We plan to start going to the gym 6 days a week when we are not going at all, we want to meal prep 2-3 times a week when we are used to eating out most meals. You might keep it up for a few weeks at best, but eventually you will burn out as it will be way too much to keep up with and keep thinking about, and the comfortable habits will soon set back in.
3. Have a very clear "WHY".
You can have all the skills and tools in the world to help you achieve your goals, but if you do not know WHY you want it, you will lose motivation. In the making of your resolutions, document why those goals are important to you. Example:
- Goal: lose 50lb. Why: because I want to feel better and be healthier for my kids.
- Goal: Exercise more. Why: because I want to keep my stress down while staying physically fit and strong.
Remind yourself of this why every day. Write it down and hang it on your refrigerator if you need to. This "why" is what will drive you to keep going even when there are obstacles.
4. Split Goal into Mini-goals.
It's okay to have big goals, but don't beat yourself up if you don't achieve them in a years time if it isn't realistic to do so. The downfall of most resolutions is that people dive head first into a big goal, fail, and so they give up. If your goal is to lose 30lb, plan to lose 5lb this month and go to the gym 3 times a week each week. Then celebrate that milestone and focus on the next one.
5. Celebrate ALL successes.
Avoided stress-binging while studying for a big test? That's a cause for celebration! Meal prepping during a crazy busy week that would otherwise set you back? Celebrate that! It's normal to focus on everything and anything that didn't go right or according to plan, but what will keep you going over the long term is celebrating each and every action that is in line with your goal.
Where do you want to see yourself December 31st of the new year? What can you do TODAY that is in line with that you. Turning resolution to reality IS possible if, and only if you stay consistent and have realistic expectations for your progress along the way.