With New Year resolutions often come grand ideas ~ big commitments, bold promises, ambitious strategies. And yet, research shows that less than 10 percent of us actually see these resolutions through past the first few months.
Our brains are hardwired to resist repeating complex, difficult, or painful events. So if we push through every week dreading a new action, we eventually begin to invent excuses to skip doing it. And soon we give up, feeling defeated and less inclined to find alternatives.
Here are a few ways to initiate sensible and successful goal setting to increase your likelihood of success in making positive changes in your health this year:
Downsize your ambition
For example, exercise twice this week instead of aiming for five times. Plan to lose a half a pound per week instead of three per week (and be healthier for it). Be happy with small results, knowing they will add up to big changes over time.
Ditch vague ambitions (e.g. “I’m going to lose 20 pounds”) and develop specific, manageable actions you’re confident you can reach. Perhaps your first goal is to cut back, rather than eliminate, the amount of soda or alcohol you drink. Once you’ve succeeded, you can then add another step (e.g. eliminate soda/wine two days a week,) that brings you closer to your weight loss goal.
Often we sabotage our plans to improve by making a goal harder than it needs to be. Are you really going to go on an early morning walk when you’ve never been a morning person? Did you decide to track your calories online, even though you find the idea of tracking data tedious? If you honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses, and design your goals accordingly, you’ll be more successful in reaching them.
Be mindful of small steps you can take throughout the day that will get you closer to your goals. Avoid the breakroom junk food by stashing healthy snacks in your desk drawer. Drink more water to keep you less focused on the soda you are avoiding. To increase your physical activity, take stairs instead elevators, exit the bus a stop before you need to or park at the back of the parking lot instead of circling for the closest open spot.
To your good health!
Certified Weight Loss Coach & Fitness Trainer
Women’s Health Specialists Wellness Center
P.S. If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight, eat for maximum nutrition or be regularly physically active, consider partnering with a weight loss/health coach for one-on-one support, guidance and accountability. Arrange your no-obligation discovery session today.Leave a reply