Creating Real Resolutions

Tis the season for change. As we welcome in the New Year it is the perfect opportunity to refocus your priorities and set new goals. Many will create resolutions to become healthier, better their nutrition, and/or increase their dedication to fitness. While these are great goals, they must be specific, attainable, and sustainable. There are a few common mistakes we make when it comes to our resolutions, thus leading to failure. First, vaguely speaking about goals is not going to help with accountability. Second, not setting solid timelines may allow you to slack. Third, forgetting to outline your plan step-by-step could cause failure. As you continue reading, we will further discuss ways to be successful when setting resolutions.

At this point I am sure many of you have read about creating sustainable goals and how important this step is for success. Whenever we set resolutions it is key to be realistic about the overall outcome and timeline. The number one reason individuals never fulfill their goals is due to frustration when their expectations are not met. I always like to remind others “change takes time. The thing you are looking to change most likely took years to develop and will take more than days or even weeks to resolve or improve.” Sadly, we live in a social media world which seeks instant gratification, but unfortunately this does not spill over into real life. It is important to be realistic and commit to the whole journey. This means hanging on through the ups and downs.

Putting in time, blood, sweat and sometimes tears are what goals are made of. They may not come easy, but in the end, they are worth it.  Let 2019 be different when it comes to your goals. Let this be the year you realistically set yourself up for success. Here are 3 important steps that could help you rock your resolutions:

Uncover your WHY?

When setting goals, it is important to reflect on your WHY behind succeeding. This should be the driving force to help you achieve long-term success. Let’s begin the process. Once you determine your goal, write it down in a journal and set an appropriate timeline. Next, write out your reason for wanting to succeed. This is called your “why.” Do not make this primarily based on appearance. The “why” should be something from within, a motivator that will not allow you to fail. It could be for your health, kids or spouse, but whatever you choose it should have true meaning. Keep that journal close by and reflect on this whenever you are having doubts.

Create goal-based milestones to help stay motivated.

Setting a goal for the entire year may seem daunting. Resolutions can be easy to forget and you can easily lack motivation. While this is understandable, there are ways we can stay on track. A great trick to maintain focus is setting milestones throughout the year. Planning special occasions to work towards can keep you motivated. For example, if you are looking to drop 3 pant sizes over the course of the year, work towards dropping a pant size by spring break, then another size by summer vacation and then achieving your final pant size by Thanksgiving.

Having these three set timelines will help push you towards your next milestone and ultimately your final goal. Take out your journal and write out the dates of these milestones and what you wish to achieve. These should focus on your overall goal and keeping you moving in the right direction.  Another fun way to stay on track is by creating a vision board with motivating pictures and reminders as you progress through each milestone.

Do not change everything at once. Write out a week-by-week plan.

One of the biggest mistakes we make when setting goals is changing everything at once. This typically causes stress and leads to failure. Whenever a resolution is set, a plan should then be put into place. By doing so, there are step-by-step changes which can be made at incremental stages. Creating change takes time and cutting everything “cold turkey” is not necessarily going to help. For example, if the goal is to drop 5% body fat in 6 months then, the best way to start is by making small changes to nutrition. Cut soda, increase vegetables, or drop fast food.

Next steps may involve fitness, such as working out 2-3 days per week. You may start with classes or cardio, then adding in more days and challenges as you progress. By making these step-by-step changes you have time to embrace and master the plan. When the next step comes the newly added change does not seem as overwhelming. Using a calendar is a good idea. Writing out each week’s plan will keep a visual cue for what needs to be done next. Have fun with this by decorating the dates, using colored pens and keeping it in a place to be seen.

Whenever we create New Year’s Resolutions it is key to set yourself up for success. This means creating sustainable goals, finding your motivating “why,” setting milestones and creating a game plan. Having a clear vision is going to make your path much easier. Let this be the year you achieve that goal.