It’s that time of year again! When many people around the world are anticipating the New Year, brainstorming which resolutions they are going to set to FINALLY make a change in their lives. Someone out there is standing in front of the mirror repeating the mantra “New Year, New You! New Year, New You!” Many of those resolutions are fitness related as well, and gym rats around the world are sighing knowing that in two days the gym will be flooded with people ready to get in shape! Which is great! But we also know the gym will only stay busy for about 2-4 weeks, then the excitement of resolutions fade and many people go back to their normal routines. This DOES NOT have to be you!!! You CAN reach your fitness and health goals! I’m going to tell you why resolutions don’t work and give you simple steps to start working toward your goals today.
Do resolutions really work? No. Why not? I believe there are 3 big reasons that resolutions don’t work: 1. Overindulgence 2. Cold Turkey doesn’t lead to consistency 3. Expectations are too high.
Let’s talk about the first, overindulgence. The holidays are almost over and even though I’m sure all of us have done our share of overindulgence over Christmas this is not the kind of overindulgence I am referring to.
Many years ago when I was struggling to get fit I was an “I’ll start again Monday” person. You all know what I’m talking about, you messed up today and ate too much junk or failed to get a workout in and instead of trying to do your best starting right now you say “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’ll start Monday”. Then what do you do? Make your poor decision today WORTH IT and have another piece of pizza, cookie, drink, etc. You wake up tomorrow morning in a food or booze hangover and the first thing you want to do is work out and eat healthy… NOT!! Some of us deal with this crap feeling by eating more junk because we have already fed the sugar addicted monster or we resort to depravity thinking we can somehow undo our poor decisions last night back only eating celery all day or eating less than we normally would.
It’s the SAME cycle with it comes to New Year’s resolutions! How many people out there are ‘getting rid’ of holiday goodies by consuming them so they won’t be a temptation in the New Year? Or making 2016 worth it by overindulging so you can start over in 2017. DON’T DO IT!! I’ve been there and the cycle will not end until you do something different. Put that junk DOWN and step away! You will thank me later. 😉
The second big reason resolutions don’t work is The cold turkey method never leads to consistency. The reason people make resolutions is because they have taken a look at their vices in 2016 and have decided they don’t want to carry these another day. It really is a beautiful thing to have the desire to better yourself and release things that are no longer healthy for you or those around you. Goals are great! But, we have to realize that the bad habits we have were not created nor sustained in one night. The habits we have are a part of our routine and these are going to take time to change. Thinking your love of junk food is going to change to a love of veggies or that your hatred for cardio workouts is going to turn into passion overnight is just not realistic! Don’t wait to make a cold turkey decision on New Year’s Day set small goals today and start making real changes. Maybe you want to swap your love of ice cream for a healthier banana nice-cream, or your love of soda for kombucha or water with fruit or maybe start a daily walk. All of these goals are accessible to you right now!
Finally let’s talk about our Expectations. When we set New Year’s Resolutions we really are expecting a whole lot from ourselves. To think that you can set a HUGE goal on a whim to sustain for a whole YEAR is just crazy! Let your goals be HUGE no doubt, but giving yourself a shorter time frame will help you succeed. Choosing to do a 5k, 10k or half marathon in March is more likely to motivate you then setting a goal to lose 50 pounds by December 2017. Heck, sometimes my goal is to get to the end of my day and be happy that I fed my body healthy, nourishing food. You are capable of anything when you set your mind to it! Set goals within a time frame and crush them! By June you will be so proud of all you have accomplish and wonder why you ever limited yourself to one goal for the whole year.
When New Year’s Eve rolls around don’t just set a goal because it’s ‘what people do’ instead start considering today what you are passionate about. Think about something that you want so bad that you will not end THIS day without taking a step in that direction. Then GO FOR IT!!! You CAN and WILL achieve those amazing goals!
So, what can we do today? When I have set backs these are the simple things I focus on to get myself back on track the healthy way and in a way that will set me up for success in the long run.
First, Start Eating Better NOW. Whether you started or ended your day with a bad decision the good news is this decision does not have to ruin your entire day. So what if you gave in to temptation or decided to be lazy. Guess what!?… YOU’RE HUMAN! We have ALL been there I don’t care how fit the person is everyone gives in sometimes! And it’s OK! Enjoy the splurge just don’t make it a habit and DEFINITELY don’t get into the ‘I’ll start tomorrow mentality”. Choose better now, if it was lunch that tripped you up have a healthy dinner. If it was dinner make sure to hydrate and set a goal to eat better tomorrow. The most important thing is DO NOT beat yourself up. You made a mistake so what you are still on track if you accept the splurge then be encouraged that you are capable of attaining your goals.
Second, Plan Ahead. Start planning to eat healthy and get active tomorrow. Maybe that means getting in the kitchen and preparing your meals for tomorrow so you don’t even have to think about your nutrition during a busy day. Maybe that means scheduling and planning your workout. Setting your sights on tomorrow is one step closer to success. Don’t stop there either, when tomorrow comes and goes begin planning for the day after tomorrow! You will be surprised how quickly a week of healthy decisions goes by when you focus on one day at a time.
Lastly, Get Moving! When I have a day of that I know I didn’t make the best food choices I feel yucky. I feel as though my ass grew 2 sizes and my energy is just crap. I can either choose to sit my (now 2 sizes bigger) ass on the couch and be lazy or I can get it moving! No matter how crappy the start of your workout feels the great news is you will ALWAYS feel better after it! Just trust me in this! I’m not saying your workout has to be an all-out heart pumping, sweat dripping, balls to the wall activity! Just get moving. My favorite thing to do when I just don’t want to work out is walk. Yup, just that simple get out a go for a walk. Not only will being outside put you in better spirits but getting your blood flowing will definitely make you feel like maybe your ass didn’t grow as much as you thought!
Alright so there are some thoughts about resolutions and my action plan to making sure a splurge does not ruin my week! I hope some of this information was helpful! Let me know what your action plan is! If you didn’t have one, try this one out and let me know how it goes! What will your goals be starting today??
Have a beautiful day and New Year! Even if you’re feeling a little extra tightness in your clothes after Christmas LOVE your body and yourself RIGHT NOW! And be encouraged that you are well on your way to accomplishing your goals!
Lots of love from 2016!