Q: I really want to start this year better than the last and stick to my weight loss resolution goals. What can I do to make sure I don’t fall short like last year? – Carol S.
A: It is that time of year again when everyone is starting anew and fresh with the resolutions they fell short on last year. A very small percentage of people ever see the year through with their fitness related resolutions, so you’re not without good company. I’ve written several times on this subject and it’s because I’m asked about it so often and it’s such a salient point of focus for many people. So, what can you do to make things different this year? What can you do to ensure that you reach your goal? There are a few things!
Have a high-resolution focus
Many people with whom I speak have unrealistic ideas of what they want to achieve. For instance, many people want to lose too much weight in a too little time period. When they don’t reach their unrealistic goal, they give up, citing that they won’t be able to achieve it now. Rather than setting a specific weight loss goal to begin with, set a lifestyle goal instead. Picture what that looks like and take the time to write it out. A lifestyle goal might include getting to the gym three to four times per week instead of the one or two times you currently go. It might include adding more vegetables to your meals and less eating out. Maybe adding a snack or two to your diet throughout the day to decrease the likelihood of overeating later. Sometimes focusing on healthier daily activities is more effective with a healthier lifestyle than focusing on weight loss specifically.
Sharing is caring
Now that you’ve written down what that lifestyle looks like, share it with people you know. Ask them to hold you accountable or to join you. Writing down our goals leads to a higher likelihood of achievement and sharing those written goals increases the likelihood of achievement even more. By adding a buddy system into the activities, achieving your lifestyle goals is even greater. Having someone to share the journey with aids in accountability and the joy of achievement. Plus, working out with someone is often more enjoyable than doing it by yourself and you can push each other to achieve more.
Celebrate the wins
With writing out your lifestyle goals and what that looks like, be sure to include rewards for yourself along the way. What good is the journey if you don’t enjoy it?! Make sure that your rewards for yourself aren’t rewards that will set you back on your lifestyle change goals. If you stick with your lifestyle change activities for 30 days, don’t make your reward eating half of a chocolate cake. Maybe there’s a movie you’ve wanted to see that you haven’t taken the time to see or something that you’ve wanted to buy yourself. Make sure that your rewards supplement your lifestyle change and don’t detract from the permanent changes you’re trying to make.
Don’t beat yourself up
If you miss a few workouts or mess up a little on the diet, just correct it going forward, rather than beating yourself up or giving up. Not being perfect is part of the journey and it’s going to happen, so know that going in. Setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves can be the most counterproductive thing we can do when making a healthy lifestyle change and expecting to do things perfectly the first time is one of the most dangerous. Most of us didn’t ace every test in school, so don’t expect to start being perfect now. Evaluate why you didn’t make it to the gym, like you wanted to today, and make the proper adjustments to ensure tomorrow’s success.
We have trainers and staff that can help you with planning and achieving your journey of a healthy lifestyle change. We provide a supportive environment with resources to help our members, clients and community live a healthier lifestyle and achieve their goals in 2017. Just ask us!
Patrick McGaha Jr., member experience manager at Anytime Fitness, Winter Park, is dedicated to building a welcoming environment in the club, conducive to helping members and clients reach their health fitness goals. To get your fitness and nutrition related questions answered by a certified personal trainer, or for a free personal training session, call us at 321-972-5833 or email [email protected]