With New Year resolutions often come grand ideas ~ big commitments, bold promises, ambitious strategies. And yet, research shows that about ten percent of us actually see these resolutions through past the first few months. How are you doing with your goals?
Our brains are hardwired to resist repeating complex, difficult, or painful events. So if we push through every week dreading the action we’ve chosen, we eventually begin to invent excuses to skip doing it. And soon we give up, feeling defeated and less inclined to find alternative options.
Here are a few ways to initiate sensible and successful goal setting around improving our health:
- Downsize your ambition. Ease up. Go to the gym twice that week instead of 5 times. Plan to lose a half a pound per week instead of three per week. Be happy with small results, knowing they will add up to big changes.
- Ditch oversized, 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 add another step (e.g. eliminate soda/wine two days a week,) that brings you closer to your weight goal.
Too 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 inputing 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 break room pastries and bring a healthy snack to work. Drink more water. To increase your exercise, take the stairs instead of the elevator and instead of circling a parking lot looking for the closest spot, park in the back and walk. You’ll feel better and your body will reward you for your efforts.
To your good health,
P.S. If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight, eat cleanly or be active, consider partnering with a weight loss/health coach for one-on-one accountability and personalized support. Get in touch to arrange your no-obligation consultation today. You have nothing to lose except unhealthy weight!Leave a reply