The New Year is filled with pressure to make drastic resolutions for self-improvement. Social media bombards us with our friends’ financial & personal wellness goals and we subconsciously measure ourselves against someone else’s life. It’s no wonder that the majority of resolutions go by the wayside, often within the first week of the year.
Taking on too much and not having a plan on how to get there is a good recipe for failure. We’ve all been there. We say “Ugh, I have GOT to lose 20 pounds this year.” And then we spend the rest of the year thinking about how we still need to lose 20 pounds, and beating ourselves up as we grab a quick lunch in the fast food drive-thru.
Be SMART about your goals.
The concept of SMART goals originated in the business world, but it is perfectly applicable for fitness goals. It’s the method of goal setting that my trainer, Joe Martin, of Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp uses and it is how I get myself back on track after a fitness slump (ahem, the holidays).
We’ve all been there. Taking on too much and not having a plan on how to get there is a good recipe for failure.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Don’t set yourself up for failure by saying you want to drop 50 pounds and rock a 6-pack in a bikini on your cruise next month. Set a specific goal, track your progress, make it realistic, and set a date to achieve it by. Everyone’s goals are going to be different, but here are some tips to help you become more successful at meeting them.
Instead of saying “I’ve GOT to stop eating like a pig” (which is laced with self-loathing and not specific), say “I’m going to eat plain Greek yogurt and fresh fruit 4 mornings a week for breakfast for the next month.” It’s a small change that is completely do-able, and starting your day with one healthy choice makes you less likely to sabotage your efforts later.
Instead of saying “I wish I could get out there and run a marathon like all those other moms” say “I’m going to get 12,000 steps in every day.” Get yourself a FitBit, and make a game out of seeing how many errands you can do without your car. Still sitting in car line to pick up the kids? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Find a Fitness Buddy!
Accountability is huge when it comes to following through on new healthy habits. You may not have identical goals, but working together and encouraging each other is going to help you both succeed! It’s a whole lot harder for me to ignore my alarm each morning when I know I have friends waiting for me.
Make it a Priority
Just wanting something doesn’t get your anywhere, but working for it does. I spent a year wishing I could join Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp after trying it out with a Groupon and loving it. But I used the “I can’t afford it” excuse and held a pity party for myself. In reality, if I’d been willing to prioritize that expenditure over 2-3 restaurant meals per month I could have done it much sooner.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
We all have bad days and make some bad choices. But quitting is pointless. Keep chipping away at your goals one little bit at a time, and never give up.
Know when it’s time to call in the professionals.
If your sewer was clogged and you had tried everything you knew how to do and still couldn’t fix it, would you just let it go? Probably not. So treat your body with the same respect. If what you’ve tried isn’t working, get some help! Huntsville is filled with wonderful fitness professionals, nutritionists, and medical weight loss specialists.
Here are a few links to people and programs in the local health & fitness world that I have either had first hand experience with, or know friends/family who have had great results. Find one that is right for you and make it a great & healthy year!