Some form of improved fitness or weight loss is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. But by February, a huge percentage of people who made that goal have already given up. There are lots of reasons for this, but it boils down to a lack of planning and no strategy. Here are six steps to making New Year’s resolutions actually happen in 2018.
Be clear about long-term goals
Where do you want to be be six months, ten months, a year? Think about what you want to accomplish, and then write it down somewhere you’ll see it every day – “I want to lose twenty pounds over the next twelve months.” Let it serve as a regular reminder, a good way to help you keep your eyes on the prize.
Set short-term goals too
These are mini goals that will move you along the right path to the big goal you’ve set. This is a necessary step, because you can’t just drop those twenty pounds all at once – you make it happen by losing one to two pounds a week. Write down these mini goals as well.
Make your goals measurable and realistic
To know for sure that you’re making progress, set goals that you can measure. Weekly or monthly weigh-ins will help ensure that your moving toward your goals. If you find that aren’t making progress, consider bringing in an expert to help you dial in nutrition and your exercise regime. A certified personal trainer will ensure that you’re moving efficiently and safely toward your goals.
And be realistic about what you’re hoping to achieve. Remember that fitness is a journey and that sustainable change takes time. It’s unreasonable to drop those twenty pounds in the first two months, and it can be incredibly discouraging when you reach the end of your timeframe without having hit your goal. Remember to be patient and persistent.
Make a plan
Setting a goal isn’t enough – you need a plan and a strategy to see it through. If your goal is losing those twenty pounds this year, you need to balance nutrition and fitness. Be specific about both – laying out what you’ll cut out or include, and how often you’ll train. This is where a personal trainer can be worth her or her weight in goal. A trainer will take the guesswork of this equation, building a plan that suits you and makes your goal attainable.
Find your motivation – and turn it into habit
Remember that motivation is an emotion, and emotions fluctuate. Establish habits early, when you’re still feeling excited and optimistic. Changing your physique takes hard work, and it’s tempting to throw in the towel after the initial excitement wears off. Acknowledge this now, and build habits that you can fall back on when you’re ready to quit.
Take pleasure in little achievements along the way, and find something that you find challenging but rewarding. If you hate every second of this journey, you’re far more likely to give up. A personal trainer can help here too, finding activities that you find interesting and even fun.