Happy New Year everyone! It’s that time again, where the majority of us reevaluate aspects of our lives whether it be in the form of our physical health, mental health, or things we want to accomplish in the fresh new year. Today I’d love to talk a little bit about how to be successful in setting goals/new year resolutions and how to make these resolutions part of your lifestyle rather than just a goal to achieve. Many of my clients tell me how they'd like to "lose weight and then I'll feel happy" or "start my workout and healthy eating programs on Monday". The overall theme being I'll do [fill in the blank] when [fill in the blank]. I'm here asking you today, why not start now? What's holding you back?
Everyone has something they wish to work towards in life, whether it’s completing a degree, finding a dream job, losing weight, improving health, being financially successful, quitting smoking, obtaining recognition for hard work, improving relationships, the list can go on and on. What’s going to make this year different? How much are you willing to sacrifice to get to that vision of how you want to feel in the future with your achievements? Goals are more than just a statement; they should have a feeling associated with it. The greater we can expand our visions and feelings behind goal setting, the more successful you’ll be in achieving and maintaining said goal.
Common reasons why goals fail:
- Unrealistic timeframe | ex. “I’m going to lose 100 lbs. in 1 month”
- Lack of detail/vague | ex. “I want to lose weight”
- Lack of a clear vision or plan
- Lack of true feeling, passion, and drive behind the goal
- Lack of accountability and measuring outcomes
- Lack of support
Tips on how to attain goals:
- Identify your support systems
- Have a conversation with your support system (friends, family, community, loved ones, co-workers) that you’re on a mission to make some lifestyle changes and ask them to keep you accountable. You may also inspire them to get on board with you!
- Identify your motivation and intentions.
- Make a vision board, have visuals all around you that put your goal in the forefront of your mind, set alarms with mantras written in them to keep you on track, etc.
- Ask yourself “Why is this goal so important to me?” “What will I gain out of the achievement?” “What am I will to go through to achieve this?”
- Focus on daily acts versus the due date or deadline of the goal.
- This will keep your mind on progress and not allow yourself to get “lost” in the far future or feel defeated/overwhelmed. .
- Have friendly competition with a friend, family, co-workers, or with yourself (set challenges, etc.)
- Measure outcomes: logs, journals, pictures, excel sheets, diary of emotions, etc.
- Journal current habits at the start of your lifestyle changes to refer to when you’ve made changes.
- This provides a nice “snapshot” to see how far you’ve come or where you need to re-focus.
- Reach out to your support systems when you feel you’re “sliding” off track.
- Get involved with a practitioner, dietitian, personal trainer whom you trust to give you a plan, keep you accountable, etc.; or better yet, shoot me an email and we’ll set up a one-on-one consultation for your nutrition and fitness goals.
- Focus on progress not perfection!
I hope this post can shine some light on how to approach all the buzz around New Year’s Resolutions. Have a beautiful weekend!
McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian, Health & Wellness Coach, food blogger at Nutrition Stripped