It’s February, how are you doing on your resolution from last month? Did you know only 43 percent of people make a New Year’s resolution? Of those, and after the first week, 75 percent are still sticking to it. Of that group, after a month, it drops to 64 percent. After six months, only 46 percent are still going strong. When you think about it, 46 percent isn’t a bad percentage (if it’s coming from a whole, but that’s getting technical). If you’re starting to feel defeated because you’re not seeing results (seeing results is an important motivator no matter what you chose as your resolution). Need some encouragement? Keep it simple.
Have a reason – Your reason for why you set your New Year’s goals has to be important enough to you, so when the going gets tough, you stick to your plan. Wanting to lose 10 lbs isn’t enough motivation when it’s too cold outside; you have errands to run or you just ‘don’t feel like it.’ However, having to show up at your 20-year high school reunion; needing to squeeze into a bathing suit in front of friends and family; becoming the mother of the bride and posing for pictures that will last a lifetime; or being strongly encouraged by your doctor to ‘drop 20 pounds’ because of health-related problems IS motivation. Realizing you want to be around for your children and their children is absolutely motivation enough to stick to your goals. Your reason is personal, but make sure it’s something so big and important that you finally get mad and feel the urgency to do something about it. Did you know? Every week in the United States 5,000 people die because of poor lifestyle-based choices including cardiovascular heart disease, complications from Type 2 diabetes; complications from obesity or from cancers which are directly related to an unhealthy lifestyle. These can happen to anyone.
Set realistic, mini goals – Set 30, 60 and 90 day goals instead of long-term, yearly goals. For instance, “I want to lose five pounds in 30 days, 10 pounds in 60 days and 15 pounds in 90 days. Realistic weight loss goals are between a half pound and two pounds a week – depending on how much you have to lose. Remember, you may lose weight quickly in the beginning, but over time it averages out in order for your body to adjust to sticking with it long-term. Set goals that aren’t necessarily weight-related. For example, commit to losing two dress/pants sizes, running a 5K or increasing the amount of push-ups you can do.
Make a plan of action – This is important so you know what you are going to do every day. Don’t go extreme (cutting out all your favorite foods, starving yourself or working out 60 minutes every day). Doing so will cause you to crash and burn. Keep in mind your normal schedule. Know what you can fit in and what you can comfortably give up right away. You can always increase from there. I good goal to start with is 30 minutes of activity every day (people spend more time on Facebook then that, so it’s easier than it sounds). As far as diet goes, keep a food journal – keep track of everything you eat or drink. Cut out all processed sugar and drink at least 100 oz. of water a day. Small changes become habits over time and will empower you, help you feel better and motivate you to keep going.
Track – This is where you see the magic happen. You are five times more likely to succeed when you track everything you do – your food intake, your workouts (length, improvements, etc), your steps (10,000 a day is the goal).
Get a partner – Have someone to answer to besides yourself – a friend, group or personal trainer,
Stay positive – You are able to do anything you set your mind to. You are wonderfully made and able to do many things. You WILL hit obstacles, but you are an overcomer. Believe in yourself. Speak positive to yourself and you will see results.
If you have already given up on your New Year’s resolution, start over. Draw a line in the sand and start again – today. Any day can be the start of the best 90 day run of your life.