This Year, Stick to Your Resolutions!
New year, new resolutions? Did you know that the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions will fail before the first buds show up? Will you be able to prove the statistics wrong? Here are 4 strategies from pros to help you succeed this year!
1) Look for the real “why”.
We all want to look better, be in better shape, and improve our health, but what does this mean to you? Why do you want to be in better shape? What does this bring you on a daily basis? What will your everyday life look like once you reach your objective? Look away from the superficial, because the answers to these questions will help you stay on track when things get tough!
2) Specify, measure, and refine!
Resolutions such as “eating healthier”, “being more active”, and “having a more balanced life” are doomed from the outset because they are too vague and non-measurable. Also, if you aim too high right from the start, you run the risk of getting discouraged! Limit yourself to one main objective on which you will concentrate all your efforts, divide it in several smaller objectives that are easier to reach, and be specific! For example: “eating healthier” could be replaced with “changing my afternoon coffee and cookie for yogurt and a fruit,” “being more active” could become “taking a 30 minutes walk after supper 4 times a week”. And more importantly, don’t forget to treat yourself each time you reach one of these smaller objectives!
3) Create a proper environment…
Don’t underestimate the influence that the context in which you find yourself will have on your objectives. Shape your environment so that it becomes hard not to reach your objective. For example, on your way back home, use the street where your fitness center is located, put your healthy snacks somewhere they can be seen on your desk, shop for groceries with a precise list, find a training partner that will push you during hard times. Your environment accounts for 50 % of your results – pay some attention to it!
4) Forgive yourself for your failures!
If you have ever heard about the stages of change of Prochaska and DiClemente, you probably know that the “relapse” stage is an integral part of it. But did you know that it is normal to relapse 6 times, on average (and sometimes more), before reaching an objective? Therefore, your success won’t be defined by your failures, but rather by your reaction to these failures. It’s not because you have eaten a meal that was too large that you have to give in to excess for the rest of the week. And it’s not because you skipped two workouts that you have to stop training for the whole month! Learn to forgive your failures by knowing that they are part of the equation, but get back in the saddle as soon as possible!
What strategies will you use this year? Do you have strategies to share that have worked for you previously?
By Alina Petre