Ahh, the new year.
A time for fond memories, healing of old wounds, and moving on from the past. A time for pushing forward, for reaching up! A time for midnight kisses, champagne toasts, and kicking the year off with a sleep-deprived hangover.
It’s also a time where many of us put forth our most well-intended resolutions – our goals for the coming year of blissful opportunity. There’s so much we can accomplish! And yet, many of us give in by year’s end. In fact, many studies suggest that anywhere between 80-95% of Americans give up on their annual promises.
Of all resolutions made each year, one of the most common ones is, of course, losing weight. It is also one of the most commonly broken resolutions ever!
But let me show you why it’s so hard to stick to that one goal eluding so many of us. I call it the Res-volution:
Resolution: I want to lose weight this year!
Awesome! Great! Good for you! I’m so, so, soooo excited you want to lose some of the extra pounds holding you back! Goals are so awesome to have. They keep you focused, keep you driving forward, and even help keep your mind healthy.
But, wait! How are you going to do it? How are you going to balance the work/school/life schedules? How are you going to handle the bumps along the way? What if you get sick? What if a family member gets sick? What if you get pregnant? What if you break your leg and can’t workout for four months?
What are you going to do???
Reaching a goal requires a plan. And a plan means smaller goals. Think of setting up your plan like a flow chart. Start with the big idea and work down into smaller and smaller groups. So, first thing’s first, let’s break up our goal into smaller goals:
“I want to lose weight this year!” might become…
I will eat vegetables with every meal
I will actually walk my 10,000 steps every day (shut up, smart watch!)
I will commit to a strength training workout 3 times a week
I will drink half of my body weight in ounces of water every day
Setting smaller goals like these provides you with a much more concrete framework to build your success upon. It also gives you a much more achievable point to strive toward. For example, saying something like, “I will eat vegetables with every meal,” is a huge piece of your weight loss goal, but it’s also sounds achievable when you say it. For breakfast, scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes. For lunch, a veggie salad topped with grilled chicken, strawberries, and chopped walnuts. For dinner, pork chops with steamed broccoli and cauliflower. Smaller goals will always make the bigger goals easier to tackle.
Excuses lead to sabotage. Do you want to lose the weight? Are you terrified of going to the gym? Hate wearing spandex? Don’t think the salad instead of the burger is going to be worth it? I mean, after all, the burger is reward, right? You did a workout…three days ago. You earned it.
Listen. I’m the queen of lazy. I’ve perfected the art of lounging around and gaining weight. I’m a downright pro in the La-Z-Boy Olympics. But when I finally get off my butt and head out for a run, I feel every bit of my laziness. It slows me down dramatically. It affects my breathing. I can literally taste it in my sweat. And all of that laziness sets me back farther from my goals.
Self-sabatoge is a thing! Don’t let it happen to you. When things are hard – when the laziness takes over, or that stress builds up – that’s when you need to stick your nose to the grindstone more than ever. Pushing through all of that crap life throws at you will only make you better when you come out the other side.
One of my favorite ways to combat those moments is to remember that my fitness and my health are something I will always, always have control over. The stress of life can try to pull everything out of my hands, but my running and what I eat is what I have control over. And sometimes, that control is all you’ll need to help you get through what you can’t.
What’s your res-volution for the new year?