Did you set a New Year Resolution? Let me guess, someone has already given you a hard time about it? Don’t worry about what others think or say about your goals. If you want to achieve something, fitness related otherwise, go after it! It is YOUR goal, not theirs, right? No, it doesn’t take a new year or even a new day to start making changes to propel yourself to your goals. But if you want to make new year resolutions, so what? Do it. A goal is a goal and January 1st is as good as any time to start. I think the reason people make fun of “new year resolutioners” is because they are typically overzealous with their ambitions and fired up about the work they set out to do but they run out of steam or “give up” within a month. Here’s a thought: wouldn’t it be amazing to look back on 2017 knowing that you weren’t a “new years resoultioner,” but rather that you set goals and you smashed them all year long? Here are some of my tips for grabbing a hold of the new year and impressing even yourself with what you can achieve!
Set attainable goals. Yes, you’ve heard this one before. But I believe that people feel that they have failed all too often only because they held themselves to an expectation that did not match their effort, creating a vicious cycle of negativity. When you’re setting goals for yourself, be realistic about the work you CAN and are WILLING to put in. Quit comparing yourself to the girl with the “perfect abs.” Don’t waste time thinking negatively about her- that’s not the point. These fitness bodies you see on social media and magazines are very attainable, yes. But they are the result of fine tuned strictness that may simply not be where you are in your journey right now. Good for them, really! It’s great to be inspired by them, but if you’re trying to kickstart better habits to lose some weight or start getting some muscle, face it- you’re at a different place in your journey than that girl! That’s OK!! The sooner you own where you are at right now, what obstacles you face and what strengths you have, the sooner you can live life with passion and confidence and can put in work towards your own unique goals! How many days of the week can you get a workout in? How strict can you realistically be in getting proper nutrition? Your goals should match this amount of effort you can and are going to put in!
Start small. Setting a big, brave goal is awesome, but its success will require the success of many smaller goals, or substrategies, if you will. To meet your goals by the end of the year, you don’t have to do everything perfectly starting today. Today is the day to make a plan, figure out what changes you can begin implementing, and get to work. If you want results that last, don’t try to flip your life upside down. Pick one thing you can do better today with your nutrition. Get moving more this week. Each week, keep up those habits and add a new step. This is how you’ll learn, grow and look back with surprise at your continued success!
Consistency is key. Here’s a thought that will not only help keep you sane on your journey but will also allow you to be successful: The world doesn’t adapt to your goals. Ever notice that when you set a goal, everything seems to start to get in the way? Life happens and it doesn’t slow down just because you’ve set a goal. You may get an injury. Your spouse may lose their job. You cannot control the world around you. What you can control, though, is how you respond. You can choose the mantra “why me, “ becoming a victim and letting life control you. Or, you can say “try me,” dusting yourself off, keeping your habits as consistent as you can through good times and bad. Don’t expect perfection from yourself. Work for consistency and the changes will come!
Practice Willpower. People say to me all the time “I wish I had your motivation,” or “I just don’t have the willpower.” Well, willpower is like a muscle, according to Marvin D. Seppala, M.D., chief medical officer at Hazelden, an addiction treatment center. So, the more we practice willpower, the stronger it gets. Sorry to break it to you, but you probably won’t wake up with stellar willpower magically tomorrow. If you’re waiting on that, you’ll be waiting a long time. I still struggle on a daily basis when it comes to chocolate and peanut butter, trust me! This is where small goals and routine come into play. Set a goal to yourself to hold a plank for as long as you can before you go to bed or avoid a particular sugary treat for a week. These little exercises of self-control will build your habits of sticking to your guns!
Invest in your goals. When you really want something, you have to invest in it. You aren’t going to accidentally get rich, get fit, or learn a language. Invest some time and effort, and yes, maybe even money. This isn’t a sales pitch, I promise. You don’t know it all on the topic of your resolution, or it wouldn’t be your resolution. Sometimes having enough humility to seek the help of others who are more knowledgeable will be the key to your success! There is a ton of information out there for free these days, which is great! However, a little personalized and reliable guidance instead of a hodgepodge of whatever you happen to see on social media can provide greater effectiveness, accountability and support.
Be you. This is a contest of you vs. you. You are perfectly you. Trying to be anyone else is just silly, so love yourself enough to know your worth, embrace improvement, and celebrate your successes along the way. Pride doesn’t have to equate to ego, so stay true to who you are and cheer for those around you, too! Even as you morph into a ever-better version of YOU, you can continue to be yourself and cheer for one another, because strong women lift each other up!