Is it Time for a Resolution Reboot?
Health Coach Offers Strategies to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
It’s late January and the excitement and enthusiasm for New Year’s Resolutions has likely faded for most Americans. In fact, according to studies, less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.
The reasons vary for why people walk away from their New Year’s Resolutions but in the case of health and fitness goals, there are usually a few things that discourage well-intentioned resolution setters. When people want to get healthy, they sometimes take an all or nothing approach or adopt the ‘go hard or go home’ mantra. This mindset leads to easy burnout, frustration and failure.
The good news? You can easily turn those resolutions into real goals that are achievable. There are some simple steps that can help people refocus before too much time passes and it becomes easy to give up.
- Reassess your goal. It’s ok to say, “this isn’t the right goal” and move on. Sometimes high-achievers don’t like to admit when they don’t make the right choices. To keep doing something you dislike or aren’t capable of sustaining with the hope that it will somehow work out, is the definition of insanity. Take a moment to reassess and decide if what you set out to do is really the right thing.
- Reset your goal. If the resolution is one, you’d like to achieve but you don’t have the plan in place, it’s easy to rework it into one that motivates you. Think S.M.A.R.T. S.M.A.R.T goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound. It doesn’t mean you have to give up that big goal but rather, it may mean just breaking it down into smaller, more achievable ones. If your ultimate goal is to lose 40 lbs. this year, try breaking it down into quarterly goals. A 90-Day SMART goal may look something like this – “In 90-days I will lose 10-15 lbs. by exercising 30-45 minutes per day, 5 days a week and eating no more than 1500 calories per day of a balanced, whole-foods diet.” At the end of 90-days, evaluate progress and set another 90-day goal until the end of the year with the ultimate result being 40 lbs. lost. The original goal of losing 40 lbs. is still the end game but setting smaller goals makes it less overwhelming and action-oriented.
- Get some accountability. Some people are amazing at holding themselves accountable but for most of us, given the opportunity to slack on something that is difficult or not enjoyable we are likely to take the easy way out (i.e. sleep in instead of going to the gym at 5:30 a.m.). Accountability is the glue that holds goals together. Find a friend or family member willing to be honest with you and push you to stick to your goals. If you can’t find someone who’s good with dishing out the tough love, hire a coach. A personal trainer or health coach is someone you pay to keep you on track. You’re automatically more accountable when you have some money in the game, and they have no problem calling you out to help you achieve your goals.
- Finally – celebrate your wins. Every day, every week, every month – find something to feel good about in this journey. We are often quick to think about all the things we didn’t do daily and miss the opportunity to boost our confidence and commitment by celebrating what we DID accomplish. Women are great at playing the “not good enough” game. To get in the habit of celebrating what was accomplished, keep a list on your nightstand and write down one achievement from the day. Then, refer to the list when you’re feeling like a failure.
The post-NYR slump is real. It’s common. It’s normal. It happens to just about everyone. What you choose to do when faced with this reality is what makes the difference. Use these tips to get back on the right track.
Niki Campbell is a former corporate executive turned health and wellness professional. As an ACE-certified personal trainer and health coach based in Pittsburgh, PA, she specializes in working with business owners, entrepreneurs and executives to bring wellness into their lives and their businesses. For more information on how to get (and stay) healthy, visit www.niki- campbell.com.